Commercial Laundry Services for the NHS
24 October 2017
The NHS is always in the news, and not usually for the right reasons. Understaffed, under-resourced, and underperforming seem to be the only things we hear about the NHS these days, despite the sterling job they do.
Recently, Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire, Wales, have been slammed in the press for posing an infection risk to patients by using outdated, and even obsolete, commercial laundry equipment.
Understandably, the NHS is under some pretty strict guidelines for infection control, and laundry plays a big part in that.
Why Cleanliness Is So Important in the NHS
It probably goes without saying that NHS hospitals process literally millions of laundry items every month, with varying levels of dirt and contamination.
Just think of all the items patients and staff see and touch in hospitals, from obvious things like bedsheets and patient gowns, to staff uniforms, towels, blankets, and theatre scrubs.
And, given some of these items could be used by hundreds of people in a year, it is vital they are properly clean to prevent cross contamination of infectious illnesses such as HIV, MRSA, or Hepatitis. Even a bout of norovirus could be potentially deadly to vulnerable and ill people.
Proper laundry care can ensure infections do not spread through bed linen, gowns, and medical staff’s uniforms.
Not only is clean linen important for contamination prevention, but it is also a legal requirement for the Care Quality Commission to take it into account when making a judgement against a medical institute.
The Health and Social Care Act of 2008 (updated in 2015) sets out guidelines for healthcare providers to follow. Although it is not law that they follow it, if infection control is not shown to be adequate, the CQC can shut them down.
As well as preventing contamination in the hospital, there are also guidelines for preventing contamination of the public water supply, and also encouraging efficient water use. The Water Regulation Advisory Scheme sets out guidelines for how water should be processed, depending on the level of contamination. Most places with a commercial laundry requirement fall under category three, but any place that deals with water that represents a serious health hazard through pathogens is a category five. Only specific professional laundry machines are suitable for category five fluids.
Choosing Commercial Laundry Products for the NHS
Hospitals and healthcare centres are busy places. They have huge laundry requirements, and therefore need machines with the right capacity.
Choosing the right drum size is important. Too small, and it means the machine will have to be run more frequently, resulting in a higher cost, and longer waits for clean laundry.
However, a drum that is too large means there won't be enough to fill it, so the machine will not be as economically and environmentally efficient as it could be.
Selecting a machine that give a good return on the investment is also important. Having several large commercial laundry machines can be expensive to buy and run, which is why it is vital that they will last. Many of the Goodman Sparks washing machines have been tested for up to 30,000 washes. That is 5 washes a day for nearly 17 years!
Another important quality of any commercial laundry equipment in the NHS has to be how it handles germs and hazardous substances. Many of the Goodman Sparks’ range have one touch thermo and chemo-thermal decontamination settings. Perfect for areas with a high potential for contamination.
How Goodman Sparks Can Help with Commercial Laundry Equipment
Here at Goodman Sparks, we understand that laundry is an intrinsic part of running any service, especially a health service such as an NHS hospital. It is an area that cannot be overlooked or scrimped on, as it is often a big part in the fight against infection.
What’s more, with the economic state of the NHS, we understand how important value for money is. That is why we are proud to only supply commercial laundry equipment that is of a high quality, and a tried and tested longevity. Miele washing machines are famed for this, for example.
Because we have such a lot of experience in advising and fitting commercial laundry products into the NHS, we are proud to be able to offer free and full laundry audit, to advise on processes, laundry layouts, and the suitability of the existing equipment, as well as any potential upgrades.
We are proud to have already provided commercial laundry services and solutions to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Greater Manchester Mental Health, Pennine Care NHS Trust, and St. Andrews Healthcare.
Get in Touch
If you want to learn more about how Goodman Sparks are keeping our hospitals clean, or want to book an audit for your commercial laundry facility, get in touch. You can fill in the enquiry form here, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0114 258 9614.