A Hampshire care provider is washing uniforms in-house to minimise any infection risk to staff’s families during the coronavirus outbreak.
Cornerstone Healthcare operates two specialist nursing homes; South Africa Lodge in Waterlooville and Kitnocks House in Curdridge. The homes care for people with challenging behaviours associated with complex neurological, physical and mental health needs.
The laundry service has been introduced because of staff concerns.
“We know that some staff have been worried about wearing their uniforms to and from work because of the risks it may pose to their families,” said CEO, Johann van Zyl.
“It’s important we respond to any concerns our staff have during this difficult period. Therefore, we’ve decided to bring in an in-house washing facility just for their uniforms.”
Scientists at De Montfort University Leicester recently advised healthcare workers not to wash their uniforms at home because of the risk of contamination and because domestic washings machines don’t operate at high temperatures for long enough to remove micro-organisms.
Cornerstone Healthcare, which employs 261 staff, has brought in extra laundry staff to make sure uniforms are ready on time for each shift. Staff have been given iron-on name labels so uniforms can be clearly identified, and designated laundry bags in staff changing areas to make sure uniforms are washed separately to residents’ laundry.
“This isn’t just on offer to staff who provide personal care,” added Mr van Zyl. “Everyone who wears a Cornerstone Healthcare uniform can use this service.”
The company has also changed the signs outside its homes to recognise the hard work of its staff and show its appreciation of them to the wider community.
Signage at Kitnocks House and South Africa Lodge now feature the words ‘Thanks to our Heroes’ which will stay in place for the rest of the year.
“It’s a small tribute to our amazing staff but we want everyone to know how much we appreciate them,” said Mr van Zyl