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Care homes ‘failing to implement best practice in linen cleaning’

Posted on: Friday, January 8th, 2016

Many care homes are unaware of proper linen cleaning protocol, according to new findings.

Research commissioned by Berendsen and conducted among senior members of staff at care homes revealed that one in four  in the UK are unaware of the CFPP 01-04 guidelines on decontamination of linen for social care.

These guidelines were developed by the government to introduce best practice in the sector.

Within CFPP 01-04 are essential quality requirements that every care home is under obligation to meet.

It also means that such facilities across the country are expected to strive for and achieve best practice in cleaning linen.

Figures published within the survey revealed that one-third of care homes do not have separate entrances and exits to their laundry rooms.

In addition, more than half of care homes do not have a barrier between washing machines and tumble driers. 

These are both requirements outlined under government measurements. The failure of these institutions to achieve these aims means that at least half are failing to achieve best practice.

Speaking about the findings, Jerry Richardson, business development director for UK Care Homes at Berendsen said: “Providing residents with clean linen and minimising the risk of infection posed by soiled linen is a fundamental requirement of care homes. 

“Failure to do so can directly impact on residents’ health. Our research suggests that many care homes are simply unaware that guidelines exist and that others are not implementing some of the recommendations.”

The report also showed that more than one-third have never refurbished their laundry or have not done so for more than five years. This is problematic because under these circumstances it means that machinery may be timeworn and less efficient over time.

Furthermore, the poll revealed that half of care homes suffer from machine breakdowns as often as every six months as a result of this.

This has a negative impact on the services they offer as it can potentially cause disruption to staff and residents.

It may also result in contaminated bed linen and laundry and present health problems to those who use them.

Another problem is that the laundry room itself might not be suitable for implementing effective laundry processes.

According to the report, one in four care homes identified a lack of space as being a particular problem.

Mr Richardson said: “Adapting an existing laundry room requires significant time and expense, not to mention the potential disruption caused to staff and residents. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular is to out."