Milton Keynes Hospital banishes bacteria through barrier laundry investment
Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is located south of the city centre, occupying a 60-hectacre site. The district general hospital comprises approximately 450 beds, serving Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.
The hospital provides a broad range of emergency, acute, general medical and surgical services. With over 3,000 staff, and a large estate to maintain, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to keep everything running at top efficiency. Cleanliness and excellent infection control practices are a priority for the hospital, and to manage the amount of cleaning accessories required throughout the building, the hospital possesses an on premises laundry (OPL) so the microfiber cloths and mops can be cleaned and re-used quickly and effectively.
A complete laundry solution
Milton Keynes Hospital has long possessed an OPL for the laundering of cleaning materials, but in 2013 the equipment began to reach the end of its operational life so the hospital sought a new solution.
With the location of the laundry and composition of the room not complying with infection control requirements, staff at the hospital were faced with finding a better suited facility. The previous installation was a traditional laundry solution so needed to be re-configured to provide more space and guarantee infection control practices – particularly as the configuration of the room also made it an unsuitable working environment. The aim during the specification process and refurbishment was to improve laundry cycle management, contamination control and also ensure a quick turnaround on the washing of mops and cloths. Milton Keynes hospital teamed up with Electrolux Professional to re-design the facility with the supply of a £34,000 complete barrier laundry solution.
Equipment evolving to meet requirements
At the beginning of the specification process, Electrolux utilised the hospital’s original CAD drawings to find a way to build an infection control laundry. The favoured solution for complete cleanliness was a barrier concept, which creates separate areas for dirty laundry to be loaded on the dirty side, and for sanitised laundry to be unloaded on the clean side. Creating two separate areas was a challenge to design with the space available. The hospital put the equipment supply out to tender and it was the designers, Electrolux Professional who came out on top. A redesign of the space was required and structural engineers were consulted to confirm that the layout suggested by Electrolux was feasible and the design was created to ensure a suitable workflow from dirty to clean. The decision was made to install barrier washers and double tumble dryers from the Electrolux Professional Line 5000.
The Line 5000 Barrier healthcare solution has been designed so the dirty mops and cloths machine doors are loaded on the dirty side of the machine, and removed on the clean (opposite) side of the barrier wall. This means that when the washing is taken out, there is absolutely no chance of re-contamination where the soiled cloths may have left bacteria. Unique to Electrolux Professional Line 5000, is the Electrolux Hygiene Watchdog, which assures hospitals that any wash program is performed in full before it can be unloaded on the clean side. The technology also boasts the potential to install up to 200 personalised wash programmes for full operational flexibility.
To assure best practice, all washing cycles in the advanced process must either possess a thermal disinfection cycle that reaches 71°C for at least three minutes, or 65°C for at least ten minutes. Alternatively, the equipment must commence a chemical disinfectant process that satisfies the requirements in the section ‘Disinfection of linen’ in the ‘Management and Provision’ Volume of CFPP 01-04. Heavily soiled items can also pass through a pre-wash sluice cycle before entering a general load which is ideal for the hospital as microfiber cleaning accessories and mops can often come into contact with heavily contaminated floor spaces and areas.
The barrier system is a flagship concept for hygiene – not only due to the innovation of the equipment but the entire process of laundry cycle management including every step from the collection of dirty linen, to delivery of the clean garments.
Adrian Clarke, Domestic Services Manager at Milton Keynes Hospitalcommented: “The capacity of laundry was an important consideration for us and in partnership with Electrolux Professional, we’ve built a facility that will clean around 1,000 cloths and 1,000 mops per day which allows our cleaning staff to maintain a good supply of materials, and gives us reassurance that every item is completely clean. “Maintenance was a real selling point for us when we chose to invest in Electrolux equipment. The previous equipment I inherited upon joining the hospital was Electrolux and their team of engineers helped to maintain the equipment at peak performance for many years. When equipment is in constant use for [twelve] hours every day, naturally it won’t last forever, but Electrolux do everything they can to make it perform at its peak for as long as possible.”
“We still outsource our bedding and other linen to an external facility because we don’t have the capacity to build a full service OPL at the moment, but it’s safe to say we’re saving a lot of money on laundering our microfiber mops and cloths. I’d recommend other hospitals investigate OPL solutions provided by Electrolux Professional if they get the opportunity in terms of infection control and also greater control over their internal processes.”
Milton Keynes hospital is one of 30 barrier laundry installations Electrolux Professional have completed across the UK and Ireland.