David Stevens, Textile Services Association (TSA) CEO released his thirteenth update to members since lockdown started back in March, saying he hoped to see some form of summer recovery.  “We are definitely starting to get a feeling that the worst is behind us and at least we are starting to discuss doing laundry again. Early indications are also that volumes vary significantly on location with city centre locations still suffering the most.


“We have had our first day back at the TSA offices with the team since March so may be things are just starting to return to a ‘new normal’.  However, this is not the time to slow down and we will continue to fight on all fronts to ensure our industry can come out of this pandemic together and as intact as possible.”


The association continues to lobby the Government  for hospitality status for hospitality sector laundries but Stevens says he has had no formal response to anything yet. “Unfortunately, you feel the Government has moved on to the re-opening phase and is going to be unlikely to review any “old” procedures,” he said.


European Textile Service Association

Stevens reported the results from ETSA’s survey carried out in June which included findings from Belgium, France, Germany, UK, USA, and Switzerland. ETSA issued the following highlights:

• Loss of revenues: revenues decreased sharply in industrial services workwear as well as in the health sector. Revenues plummeted by more than 80% in April in the hospitality sector
Return to pre Covid-19 revenues: between 12 months to more than 18 months will be needed
• Massive resort to furlough of personnel to avoid lay offs as much as possible throughout the sector
• Investments severely cut back
• Cancelled orders on new equipment, products and services having a cascading negative effect on suppliers

“ETSA’s focus aligns very much with our own, their call for measures to restart the economy includes the professional textile care to be recognised as essential services and integrate it in emergency plans as well as to strengthen and encourage reusable solutions,” commented Stevens.

Re-usable gowns for healthcare
The Cabinet Office and NHSI have been leading the work on manufacturing and procuring reusable gowns for healthcare use. However, after several weeks in to the process, they have come to the conclusion that the individual health trusts and care homes should procure gowns locally depending on the exact requirements. However, the Government departments are keen to ensure that they recommend right specifications as firmly as they can.

Meanwhile, NHSI England has also confirmed that they will be ordering centrally for NHS acute care hospitals.  They are proposing to fix RFID tags on these gowns to enable the creation of a national open protocol pool stock.  They have also confirmed that the gowns are going to be a permanent addition to the product range and will be included within future framework agreements.

Care home sand nursing home
Stevens believes a compelling reason to become certified is the opportunity this creates to offer a high-quality laundry service to this sector. “In Europe, the sector represents between 20-30% of the market and while it is not an easy sector to enter, there has never been a better time to talk laundry.  The TSA is starting a dialogue with some of the trade associations that represent the care home sector.  
We have also been able to obtain a speaking slot at the Healthcare Facilities Management Conference in Birmingham on 10 November where we are told there will be representatives from the market.”

For information on how to join the TSA, please visit