Miele Professional sales and marketing director Les Marshall tells Care Home Professional about the importance of complying with rigorous cleanliness and disinfection standards.
Care Home Professional: What is new from Miele this year? What are the key selling points of your laundry solution and how does it differ from your competition?
Les Marshall: Miele Professional offers a wide range of equipment designed to fit into any laundry; machines have a footprint as small as 1m² but can also cover the largest facilities. For care homes, Miele is a market leader in manufacturing machines that meet the high cleanliness and disinfection standards required for dealing with vulnerable people. Our machines meet the rigorous temperature and time standards of CfPP-01-04, set by the Government, while offering excellent value-for-money over the long term through high quality and reliable machines that also decrease running costs and environmental impact.
New this year is the Miele NeQis Independent Validation System (pictured above) that records temperature and detergent usage in real-time. This small mobile phone-sized tool monitors every single wash and measures the two key metrics (temperature and time) to ensure that cycles are meeting the required standards. It also measures proof of delivery of the correct quantity of detergent into the drum. All of the information is then available via a user-friendly online portal. The information is collected and displayed in an easy-to-read graph and can be reviewed in real-time. The tool ensures the consistent performance of your equipment and provides peace of mind to you, your staff and your service-users.
CHP: How would you describe the benefits of creating a professional in-house laundry system versus outsourcing all laundry to an external service provider?
Les Marshall: On-premise laundries allow businesses to manage their own laundry, giving them more flexibility and control. Taking the laundry process in house allows managers to oversee it from start to finish and ensure it is completed to the highest standard. Where your customers are potentially at risk or vulnerable, it is even more important to have end-to-end oversight of the laundry process in order to have full confidence that your laundry is being processed within the CfPP 01-04 guidelines.
An in-house laundry can also make a huge difference in controlling costs over the long term. Miele machines are easy to operate, meaning that a minimum of staff time is required to run them. Taking your process in-house also saves valuable time at every stage.
CHP: As care home professionals consider the best way to invest in their laundry, what are the most important questions they must ask themselves?
Les Marshall: The factors that need to be considered are the correct specification and sizing of machines relevant to the space available; design of the laundry room to ensure safe, most productive workflow; the installation and commissioning of the machines and training of staff, and ongoing service support.
One of the most important questions to ask is the number of residents and the nature of the laundry being processed. This is the primary factor to consider as this will impact on the size of machines and size of laundry required. It is crucial to know about the type of care that the care home provides as different care will require different laundering processes.
Space is also a key consideration. Many businesses are limited on space and, as such, may not feel that they have the necessary space required to accommodate an in-house laundry. However, many machines have a footprint of less than 1 metre square, and can easily fit through a standard doorway, making them straightforward to install even in the most challenging of spaces.
Accessibility needs are key, both for the installation of the machines and also for servicing once installed. As well as factors such as the doorway size being large enough to fit the machines through being taken into account, the whole site needs to be looked at for delivery purposes. For example, wheeling a large machine on a gravel driveway will be difficult.
Meeting health regulations is absolutely crucial. Department of Health guidelines around the decontamination of linen for health and social care state that in order to kill bacteria, linen should be thermally disinfected using washing cycles that achieve 65 degrees Celsius for at least ten minutes, 71 degrees for at least three minutes or 85 degrees for one minute. Miele Professional uses an independent validation system, NeQis that allows laundry managers to make sure that their washing machines are meeting these temperatures for the required time. The NeQis unit is fitted to the machine and produces reports which can run straight to the user’s computer, allowing any failures to be instantly identified.
CHP: If you are an equipment supplier, what are your workhorse products for washing, drying, finishing?
Les Marshall: All of Miele Professional machines are tested to run for 30,000 cycles and the type of machines depend on the criteria identified above. Miele Professional’s range of Little Giants are machines that offer high-performance laundry on the smallest of footprints. The PWT 6089 is a stackable unit that stands less than two meters tall and has a footprint of just 1m2. If the machines were in use every day with cycles running continuously, it would take just one hour a day to load and unload. These machines can fit into almost any laundry, and can wash and dry high volumes at a consistently excellent quality.
For care homes able to adapt their laundry set up by having two separate rooms, one for clean and one for soiled items, Miele Professional’s barrier washing machines reduce the risk of infection in care homes by using an advanced ‘barrier system’ for processing residents’ sheets and clothing.