Katie Liversidge of Whittaker Services explained why cotton prices had risen so dramatically.

Jerry Richardson of Sunlight Textile Services examined the cost pressures faced by laundry managers and outlined possible actions to minimise their effect.

Ian Hargreaves, SHLSM national officer and independent consultant asked whether the users of a linen service should be more accountable for costs.

The closing paper, given by Steve Moss of the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust advised on controlling costs and making savings.

Two other papers attracted particular interest. Alison McCree, associate director of facilities at Darlington explained why laundry services had been contracted out and the changes needed to make this effective.

Peter Hoffmann, consultant clinical scientist for the health protection agency, gave a personal view of infection in hospitals, explaining they types of infection, causes and risk factors.