Educating in the care sector

The event was attended by a variety of representatives from care homes across the country. The individuals from healthcare organisations came together to find out more about how procedures can be improved to safeguard against disease, and provide the highest levels of care for every resident.

Held in conjunction with Care England, the event saw Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, deliver a keynote speech on the challenges faced in the care industry, at Electrolux Professional’s Centre of Excellence in Luton.

Martin Green commented: “Care England is a representative body for care providers and we’re the largest within the care sector. Our role and mission is to improve the environment in which care operators work and we have four strategic priorities which are: funding for quality, innovation, proportionate regulation and workforce.

“I’m delighted that we teamed up with Electrolux at the event to address the issues around food, hygiene and cleanliness which are absolutely central to delivering high quality care. Electrolux is a brand leader in this area and I’m pleased that Care England has formed a partnership with them.

“When people are in care settings, the importance of food takes a very central role in their life and the issue of cleanliness is very much linked to the issue of dignity. If people have good clothing and cleanliness, they also have their dignity but there is also the issue of making sure cross-infection doesn’t happen within communal living situations. It was fantastic to be able to address each of these areas in the seminars and demonstrations.”

Laundry demonstrations and best practice

Through a series of handson workshops and best practice demonstrations, the event offered an insight into how care industry professionals can adopt rigorous procedures to maintain high standards across catering and laundry.

The laundry solutions featured over the course of the day brought both barrier and traditional laundry concepts to life in order to demonstrate how complete cleanliness and infection control can always be guaranteed through an on premises laundry (OPL). This added further weight to the recently launched Electrolux Good Laundry Practice Pack, which encourages care professionals to take stringent approaches to linen cycle management, in order to prevent cross contamination and diseases in the care environment.

In addition to learning about laundry cycle management, attendees were able to explore the hygiene efficiencies and data tracking that can be achieved on washers and dryers for total traceability.

Laundry Cycle Management – how to guarantee cleanliness

Amanda Dufrane, care segment manager at Electrolux Professional commented: “At the event we addressed the complete laundry concept in terms of traditional laundries, laundry flow and dimensioning, and also our Evolution barrier laundry range which is ideal for the care sector. The barrier laundry concept reduces the risk of cross contamination as a washing machine with two doors, built into a separating wall in the laundry with clear distinctions to separate the clean side, to the dirty side.

“One of the main challenges for the care industry is to combat the spread of disease and infection, as superbugs such as MRSA and C-Difficile are rife so the correct procedures need to be adopted and maintained. Laundry cycle management is very important because laundry isn’t just about the touch of a button; it’s a complete process and every step in between linen being removed and replaced needs to be completely controlled. This extends as far as the processes of the linen transportation, and how long it is stored before it is disinfected.

“In many care environments, linen is the main vehicle of transmission for superbugs. Take MRSA for example, which can live within fabric for up to 90 days. Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAIs) need to be avoided at all costs as not only can the consequences be fatal, but they can cause residents and their relatives undue stress if a care home or hospital needs to be quarantined while a bug is controlled. The laundering process needs to overcome the issue of whether an environment appears to be clean, or whether it is actually hygienically clean – aesthetic cleanliness is simply not enough. Adopting the correct laundry cycle practices can overcome these issues.

“Aside from the hygiene issues associated with laundering within the care environment, we also touched upon the need for laundry operators to take special care when laundering residents’ personal garments. These need to be well cleaned and well finished but care also needs to be taken so delicate items won’t be harmed in the cleaning process.

“The event was a great success and all the care workers that attended were really pleased with the areas discussed.”

A look into the kitchen

Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in food preparation and cooking to find out more about how certain catering equipment can help to safely deliver a consistently nutritious menu for care home residents to enjoy.

Darren Lockley, head of region for UK and Ireland at Electrolux Professional commented: “We decided to dedicate a day at our Centre of Excellence to the care sector as we are very well placed to offer guidance on a variety of best practices across both catering and laundry departments.

“We hope to encourage those considering their laundry needs to also think about their food service needs, and vice versa, by stressing the importance of building bespoke and sustainable solutions, perfectly designed for the care environment. The day also provided opportunities for networking and the sharing of ideas, as well as the discussion of concerns faced in the care industry and how some of these challenges can be overcome.

“Through bringing Electrolux solutions to life, our intention was to cover every important aspect of laundering and catering in the care setting, and put an emphasis on health and safety. This is paramount when caring for vulnerable individuals.”

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