E tū is delighted with the Canterbury DHB’s decision not to renew its food service contract with Compass and to bring its hospital food production back in-house.
The union has also welcomed the DHB’s assurance it will be directly employing the 300 workers employed by Compass.
Jill Ovens, E tū’s Industry Co-ordinator, Public and Commercial says E tū has always supported the provision of freshly-cooked, locally prepared hospital food and meals-on-wheels.
“It has been apparent for some time that the food service contract with Compass was not working, with patients complaining about the poor-quality food.
“That’s been very clear from the backlash within communities such as Dunedin and Invercargill where people want hospital meals and meals-on-wheels produced locally using fresh ingredients,” says Jill.
Jill says the 300 staff, currently employed by Compass will also benefit from the move, with the DHB pointing out the better pay and conditions they will enjoy as a result.
Jill says it is also time to question the economic sense of continuing with the national food service contract, involving Health Partnership Limited and Compass.
“Already, the small number of participating DHBs has seen more money stumped up to pay Compass to prepare these meals. This move by Canterbury’s DHB will make that contract even more marginal.
“The government needs to heed the calls by communities in Otago and Southland, as well as in areas such as Pukekohe for the return of fresh, locally prepared hospital food and meals-on-wheels.”