1.1 To ensure that a safe environment for patients, staff and relatives is maintained, it is important that used linen is appropriately segregated, bagged, stored and securely transported.
2.1 All wards and departments throughout NHS Fife.
3.1 The Charge Nurse/Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that all staff within their department adhere to safe systems of work, as outlined in this procedure.
3.2 The Support Services Managers are responsible for the uplift and transportation of the used linen.
3.3 The Central Laundry Manger is responsible for supply, distribution and updating posters giving convenient guidance to users
4. OPERATIONAL SYSTEM
4.1 Used linen must be segregated into one of the following categories prior to bagging:
4.1.1 Used/fouled Linen: - White polyester hamper with a clear polythene liner
4.1.2 Suspected/Infected Linen: - Place into a Water soluble inner bag then into a red polyester hamper with a clear polythene liner.
4.2 To avoid the risk of possible contamination, it is important that linen hampers are filled at source.
4.3 It is essential that extraneous items are not sent to the laundry with the hospital linen. Ward/department staff must ensure that linen is checked and any extraneous items removed prior to bagging.
4.4 All bags must be tagged to indicate the ward/department. The tags used for clinical waste should be attached to the string securing the bag.
4.5 Linen hampers must be tied securely when 2/3rds full, tagged, and taken to the appropriate storage area where they should be stored neatly. Any hampers which are over-filled will be identified to ward staff who should split the linen between two bags.
4.6 Portering personnel wearing protective gloves, aprons or dust coats, will uplift used linen hampers at agreed designated times. Porters will only uplift bags that have been correctly bagged, tied and tagged.
4.7 Portering personnel will only transport used linen hampers in the trolley/cage designated for this purpose. No other waste should be transported with used linen.
4.8 Portering personnel will take used linen in cages to the designated dirty linen area, for uplift by Central Laundry Personnel.
4.9 Patient clothing will be transported to the collection point for personal laundry or to the storage area at the on site personal laundry.
4.10 A visual inspection of all cages, in particular wheels, will be carried out by Central Laundry staff, and cages with extraneous items on the wheels will be removed from service until the wheels are cleaned.
4.11 After each uplift all cages used to transport used linen to the central laundry will be cleaned using warm water and neutral detergent, rinsed and dried thoroughly by Central Laundry personnel. On site arrangements will be made to clean the trolleys used to transport personal clothing.
5. RISK MANAGEMENT
5.1 Assessment is built into the Operational System.
6. RELATED DOCUMENTS
- GP/P7 - Care of patients personal laundry
- GP/P4 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)