TSA expresses frustration with Government bureaucracy - and some notable successes

15 May 2020

As David Stevens, CEO, of the Textile Service Association (TSA) put out his eighth update during the Covid-19 crisis he commented: “I never even thought of numbering them when we started way back in March. We are starting to get into a bit of a routine around lobbying the Government: write a letter, get a standard reply, write another letter. However, we know of at least 10 UK laundries that have now got hospitality status, so it is slowly working…It’s going to be a tough summer but if we continue to all work together and support one another we will come out the other side.”

Hospitality Grant
He expressed delight that the number of companies acknowledged as part of the hospitality sector has increased even further. “While we have had some pockets of success, (we estimate the above to be worth at least £500K) we are getting some councils pushing back. This is a great concern to us, therefore, our focus this week is to build on the momentum of companies who have been accepted and lobby further. If you encounter a push back from your council please let TSA Admin.

“We have also sent another open letter (12 May) to the powers that be, again emphasising why laundries should be included on the list, so we do not all have to waste time on the local lobbying efforts. UK hospitality have also supported our campaign which may add some weight. We have sent the letter to all the MPs you have informed us of but please feel free to send again as I do not think we can lobby too much.”

Health care uniforms DMU project
TSA confirms that de Montfort University has now received the virus and the samples of fabrics (see LCNi report: TSA: Are healthcare uniforms a coronavirus risk if washed at home?) to commence the research for the Covid-19 Addendum project.

As this project has increased the interest from other European trade associations, we have received our first confirmations this week from the German and Finnish associations that they would like to be funding partners. This is great news as it will help with the credibility of the message when used for lobbying in the future and we are optimistic that other associations will follow suit. It also reduces some of the project cost for the TSA.

Reusable healthcare gowns
The Reusable Gowns Project brief was prepared and sent to the Cabinet Office on Saturday (9 May) which included the following:

• Work to date

• The numbers in more detail

• Project management proposal

• The requirements

• Design and specification

• Procurement routing

• Laundry and distribution

• Re-purposing hospitality laundries to process healthcare work

• End user acceptability

• Commercials and framework agreement

Stevens reported that TSA has had a response that the Cabinet Office is preparing a strategy document, but described it is “an incredibly slow and frustrating process”.

“We have started to escalate our frustrations to various senior players so hopefully we will start to see some momentum in the coming days,” he said. “We shall keep you up to date with any progress made with regards to this project going forward.”

Reopening hospitality laundries: Good Practice Guide
TSA has put together an experienced team to form a working group (WG) to develop a ‘good practice guide’ for reopening hospitality laundries. In its first meeting, the group agreed it must be a simple, practical, and an effective guide to help the implementation process. The WG is aiming for a final draft followed by a presentation of the document toward the end of next week.

TSA will be hosting a webinar presentation of its re-opening hospitality laundries good practice guide. More information to follow next week and the presentation is scheduled for Tuesday 26 May.

Face masks - supply route support
TSA has been collecting information from its supply chain on the availability of face masks and has put together a simple guide to help choose the appropriate masks for your needs which can be found here.

“We are also seeing various companies offering a re-washable face mask and it may be a good market opportunity for you to consider developing this offer into a rental service or a COG offer with a laundry service. We understand there may also be a potential to brand the masks with your company logo for rental service or on a direct sell with a large client,” said Stevens.” Additionally, we can confirm the TSA has been invited to be part of the CBI’s PPE working group panel.”

In other news, TSA continues to work together with UK Hospitality and will be issuing new guidelines on handling linen early next week. TSA has also started to look into the care home market to see if it can open a dialogue with the care home and nursing homes trade associations about the textile care industry servicing the care homes, nursing homes and primary care facilities and will be contacting them shortly.

• For more information on the TSA please visit www.tsa-uk.org

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