Recent research has found that missing items of clothing or linen is one of the most common laundry issues experienced by care home staff. In a survey conducted among managers that have provisions for laundering linen and resident’s clothing within the care home, half reported that misplaced or lost personal items are the cause of significant trouble to them, their residents and their staff.
Incidents of losing items during the laundry process appear to be common, with 81 percent of surveyed care homes reporting that they have lost or misplaced items within their premises and one in ten declaring this to be a frequent occurrence. Overall, care home managers want to make improvements to their laundries, with one in seven stating that they feel their current in-house setup is simply ineffective.
Conducted in February 2015, the research was commissioned by Berendsen, the UK’s leading provider of laundry and textile services. Commenting on the findings, Jerry Richardson, Business Development Director for Care Homes at Berendsen, said: “Although laundry is rarely at front of mind for most care home managers, when something goes wrong it has a significant impact on staff at all levels – and unless resolved quickly, on residents too. In a busy environment such as a care home, it’s all too easy for items to go missing. We have invested in the latest technology to reduce this risk to a minimum and provide peace of mind to both staff and residents.”
Berendsen has introduced robust electronic tagging and scanning systems that ensure every item is traceable right through the laundering process – and for residents’ clothing, all the way back to its owner. This includes the application of discreet RFID tags, which are widely used for tracking items, including medical devices in hospitals, to trace residents’ laundry loads as well as the linen products such as duvets, towels and pillow cases that require laundering.
Berendsen applies this tagging process on behalf of care home staff and residents, eliminating the need for care homes or families to tag all residents’ clothing themselves, which usually involves the time-consuming task of attaching a name label to each and every item.
For further information about Berendsen’s services for care homes visit www.berendsen.co.uk/care.