Patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead can expect their sheets to be whiter than white after the hospital’s laundry services was awarded ISO9000 accreditation.

Gateshead Health NHS Trust has been working towards this for more than a year, and says it has improved procedures for collection, washing and distribution of laundry. It introduced training programmes and customer focus groups to quickly deal with complaints and queries. The service had to undergo a detailed review by JL Consulting of Newcastle.

Allan Smith, director of operations for Gateshead Health NHS Trust, said: “This is a major boost both for the hospital and the laundry department. The staff have worked hard to achieve this and it is testimony to our high standards and levels of customer care.

“The NHS is going through a period of transition, as it looks to modernise and update the services it provides. This is another example of the way we are doing this and it clearly demonstrates we are a customer-focussed organisation.” The laundry department has 85 staff and washes 150,000 garments a week. It provides a service to 13 hospitals in the area.