Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment isn’t just a vital part of Pilgrims View’s infection control management procedures; it also plays a significant role in helping the care home remain a welcoming and pleasant environment for residents to live. High standards of hygiene are applied to all areas of the care home’s operations, and this includes its laundry facility.
However, the layout of Pilgrims View’s laundry was making it difficult for the home to meet its own high standards. It was also a challenge to maintain the appliances as access to the backs of the machines was restricted. This was a problem due to the machines being aged and no longer running efficiently. The appliances had also become noisy and produced vibrations that spread to other areas of the home. Areas close to the laundry facility would often get disturbed when machines were in use.
Avante Care and Support, which operates Pilgrims View, recognised the care home’s need for a whole new approach to its laundry. This meant assigning budget to renovate the current laundry facility and create a brand new facility that would make infection control procedures easier for staff to follow. It was essential for the facility and its machines to meet the Department of Health’s ‘Health Technical Memorandum 01-04 (HTM 01-04)’, which gives guidance on the legal requirements, design applications, maintenance and operation of water supplies, storage and distribution systems in all types of healthcare premises.
The new laundry facility was an opportune time for Pilgrims View to install new machines and having seen Miele machines wash items to high standards at Avante Care and Support’s other homes, the business’ maintenance officer chose the same brand for the new laundry facility. The company arranged with contractors to re-configure part of the existing building and utilise other areas to form a new laundry room. As well as forming better maintenance access, builders created a new walkway into the laundry room. This enabled a barrier washing system that allowed soiled items to enter through one area and clean items to be returned to residents via a different route.
Local Miele partner, First Choice Marshalls, had installed Miele machines at its other homes, and Avante Care and Support knew that the supplier could be trusted to select the right equipment for Pilgrims View. Not only did First Choice Marshalls install two Miele PW811 Performance Plus washing machines, it worked with the team at Pilgrims View to establish how the equipment should be laid out in the laundry to support infection control procedures. One suggestion was the inclusion of a door behind machines to make them easy to access when cleaning, servicing and repair work needs to be carried out.
Falling short of hygiene and cleanliness is no longer a concern for Avante Care and Support’s managers thanks to the newly refurbished laundry facility that makes compliance easy for staff. The room’s new layout makes it impossible for soiled items to contaminate clean items now that they enter and exit the facility through independent doors and exits. Miele washing machines are built to last and Pilgrims View has the reassurance that the laundry can operate without interruption for the foreseeable future. And, if there are any issues First Choice Marshalls is on hand to visit the home and carry out repairs within 24 hours. The new machines also keep noise and vibrations to a minimum, and now residents are no longer disturbed during the day or night by noisy appliances.
Julian Oliver, maintenance officer at Avante Care and Support, says: “Changing the physical infrastructure of our laundry room was a big step for us. But we needed to make a bold move so that managing infection control became easier and second nature for laundry staff. Operating laundry daily, we can’t go without efficient laundry washing facilities, which is why installing reliable and durable machines that could be repaired with little fuss was a priority for us. Having seen the difference that Miele and First Choice Marshalls made at our homes, we were keen for Pilgrims View to experience the same results.”