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Laundry at the heart of C3 philosophy

Published 28th November, 2018 by Neil Nixon

Laundry at the heart of C3 philosophy

Select Medical manufactures products for the health and care sectors. This includes alternating pressure mattresses and active seating, which relieve pressure and improve comfort for hospital patients and care recipients. It also provides these products to equipment loan stores, which lend the items to hospitals and care homes. With a decontamination facility on its site, Select Medical offers a laundry service for the products it manufactures, as well as other items that need decontaminating, such as slings and mattress covers.

Select Medical’s decontamination centre used to be some distance from its main office and it was keen create a new facility closer. This was an opportune time for the organisation to re-equip its facility with new washing machines and tumble dryers.

Select Medical has a ‘C3 philosophy,’ which ensures that it considers the care provider, the carer and care recipient in all of the work it does. To meet this philosophy, it had to ensure that its new machines would thoroughly disinfect items to meet the high standards of hygiene it sets for itself - washing items up to 95°C and drying them under 50°C degrees. NHS infection control guidelines are another set of standards that Select Medical had to consider when scouring the market for new machines.

As Select Medical washes items that are heavily soiled, it needs washing machines with specialist programmes to remove any traces of contamination and stains. In preparation for delivery of its new equipment, Select Medical had to install a water feed for the washing machine and gas pipes for the tumble dryer. The next step was to review the market for machines that could deliver on its exact requirements. Having used Miele machines previously, the company was confident that it was the best brand for its laundry processes due to being able to wash items at high temperatures and meet disinfection standards. Miele’s reputation for the quality, reliability and durability of its equipment was also a huge draw for Select Medical.

Select Medical worked closely with Millers UK, a partner of the professional division of Miele, to discuss its requirements and to install the new machines and waste pipes. Millers UK installed Miele’s PW 6241 [EL MF], a front-loading washer-extractor with a low level of energy and water consumption. This has a drum volume of 240 litres and a load capacity 24kg. It provides a bespoke sluice wash, which carries out a pre-wash cycle that removes solid particles from heavily soiled items before adding detergent. This allows the contaminated water to pass out of the machine before the main wash begins, ensuring that heavily soiled items are fully disinfected.

A Miele PT 8407 [PTM D ARP] tumble dryer was also installed. This has a drum volume of 400 litres and a load capacity of 16-20kg, and also features a honeycomb drum, which helps maintain the quality of items being washed. It also features Miele’s patented Air Recycling Plus, which puts hot air back in the dryer so that it doesn’t have to constantly use energy to reheat. Millers also set up a bespoke drying cycle, which reduced the drying temperature from 74°C to 55°C. This was to ensure that items being dried don’t shrink.

Select Medical’s new Miele machines now enable its cleaning technicians to disinfect all of the equipment they launder to the high standard that customers require, helping all users of their equipment to meet NHS infection control guidelines. By upgrading its machines, Select Medical continues to meet its C3 philosophy and is contributing to care home and hospital requirements for delivering a safe and hygienic environment for patients, care recipients and staff.

David Elstone, MD at Select Medical, said: “As we decided to build a new decontamination centre with new appliances, it was essential that we maintained our high standards on infection control. We were pleased with how the Miele machines had helped us meet our guidelines previously, and knew that it should stay as our brand of choice in our new centre. Our cleaning technicians wash a wide range of items, and all of them need to be cleaned to the same high standards. The bespoke programmes that our new machines provide mean we can wash items according to how they are used. Also, thanks for our gentle bespoke drying programme, we are able to prolong the life of medical equipment.”

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