Essential gets tough on cross infection prevention

20 September 2018


Eradicating potentially harmful bugs such as C.diff, MRSA and Norovirus is just one of the tasks Essential Healthcare Solutions performs daily. As a specialist provider in medical equipment and service, the Yorkshire-based organisation supplies, decontaminates and services Dynamic Air Mattresses for the NHS and care homes throughout the UK.

The mattresses are specifically designed for the needs of hospital patients and care home residents, to alleviate areas of pressure and provide comfort for those who spend long periods of time in bed. When no longer required, the mattress is returned to Essential for specialist cleaning, decontamination, servicing or repair.

Essential Healthcare Solutions (pictured) can have in excess of 300 of its mattresses in just one hospital. The organisation cyclically processes equipment delivery, collection for decontamination and redelivery to the site. It is pivotal that each stage of this process is managed efficiently, and that laundry processes are consistently carried out to the required high standards to ensure the decontamination process has been carried out effectively.

Helping to raise standards

At Essential Healthcare Solution’s decontamination centre, mattresses go through a wash-based disinfection process to remove any traces of potential contamination. Due to the nature of the equipment it launders, compliance with the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) to provide backflow protection is a legal requirement. In order to meet the Department of Health’s standards for controlling infection in laundry, the correct choice of machinery is key for this rigorous process.

Because mattress care during the wash cycle is always a priority for Essential, the company turned to local commercial laundry equipment service provider, JTM Service, to equip its decontamination centre. Extensive experience working with the NHS and Care Homes meant JTM Service understood the pressures Essential faced handling large loads quickly and effectively, while mitigating cross infection risk and delivering outstanding cleaning performance.

JTM recognised that Essential’s specialist requirements were most effectively met by Miele’s high performance commercial washing machines. JTM installed two Miele PW814 Performance Plus machines (pictured), which not only ensure Essential’s strict hygiene requirements for safe disinfection are met, but are also WRAS approved. With 14kg capacity, the machines are able to easily manage the size and speciality of the loads that Essential launder daily.

A NeQis System supplied by JTM is in use. This independent, third party, validation system provides real time records and reports to verify that each wash cycle has met the required decontamination standards.

JTM also installed two Miele PT8403 Professional dryers with capacity equal to the washing machines, ensuring the mattresses are thoroughly dried.

Thomas Owens, managing director, Essential Healthcare Solutions said: "The JTM team understood the challenges we face when it comes to laundering large items and our need to ensure our processes meet rigorous decontamination standards. JTM was not only able to meet our demands in terms of finding us the best equipment for the job, but was also able to offer us the best ongoing support and maintenance so that we remain operational at all times.”

Building work is underway to significantly expand the decontamination facilities and Essential will be looking to JTM and Miele again to equip its new facility to the same high standard.

The new, larger decontamination centre will help the medical equipment provider make a positive impact to the quality of people’s lives while continuing to help raise the standard of care.

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