With reference to the letter to the editor from Joan Peters last week, I would like to clarify some points so that both the writer and others may understand what has happened and why.
Rose Lodge currently cares for 67 elderly residents, half of whom are over 90 years of age.
A number have specific dietary needs, some have food intolerances and allergies and others have food preferences.
We strive to meet the special needs of all of our residents for clinical reasons and also to make their stay with us as much like home as possible.
Community demand for aged care has increased dramatically over recent times.
Rose Lodge commenced construction of a multi-million dollar extension which will increase our capacity to provide care to 98 residents including those needing high care.
The extension will be open prior to Christmas.
In order to continue to meet the highest standards for our residents in this expanded capacity, a restructure of the kitchen is a necessity. Presently, the only staff with cooking qualifications are the chef, who works Monday to Friday, and a weekend chef who chooses to only work every second weekend.
Maintaining the present operation of the kitchen in the expanded capacity required is not an option.
Nine kitchen staff are involved in the restructure, all of whom were invited to apply for the kitchen assistant shifts or other available positions within Rose Lodge.
Alternatively, if they did not wish to remain at Rose Lodge, there was the offer of a voluntary redundancy package.
Only two of the nine staff expressed an interest in staying at Rose Lodge – the preference of the remaining seven was to take the voluntary redundancy.
Beverley Walsh, Chief Executive Officer, Rose Lodge.