Central Gippsland Health’s cafeteria at Sale Hospital is currently undergoing a transformation.

The interior refurbishment, which is well underway, will see structural changes and new furniture including booths, benches and wood grain tables with an improved and modern servery. Circular tables will have charging points for electronic devices.

The changes are being made to align the cafeteria with Healthy choices: food and drink guidelines for Victorian public hospitals. A key recommendation of the CGH Health Plan 2012-2022 is that these guidelines be fully implemented as a part of the service’s primary prevention strategy to address cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Chief executive officer Frank Evans said as a health service, it was essential that CGH demonstrated leadership in health promotion and healthy food choices.

The CGH Healthy Eating Working Group is tasked with planning and overseeing the implementation of Healthy Choices. A new function catering menu was introduced last year and a new menu will also be introduced to the new-look cafeteria.

“If we are introducing new healthy product lines, we want to create an environment that better reflects what we are trying to achieve,” Frank said. “That’s why our aim is to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Hotel Services Manager, David Askew, said there would be a four slot Bain-marie, large soup pots, a new sandwich press and a barista area.

A three-metre refrigerated cabinet will contain a variety of toasties and paninis which can be toasted to order fresh.  There will also be a ‘Grab and Go’ fridge with drinks, nori rolls, sandwiches and salad rolls and ready-made meals heated in one of the bank of microwave ovens that will be available.

“Most of the work is being done by our own tradespeople,” David said. “Our engineers have even made the new tables.

“We are trying to complete the work without too much disruption to the cafeteria service and apologise for any inconvenience. But I’m sure our patients, staff and visitors will be impressed with the final result.”

The total cost of the refurbishment is $160,000 which includes a donation of $20,000 from the John Leslie Trust. The work is expected to be completed in early July.