Currently, 90% of Europe’s care homes outsource their laundry.  In the UK most care homes process their laundry in-house.  The pandemic highlighted the importance of maintaining the strictest hygienic standards in care homes.  Outsourcing is more efficient, more sustainable and it ensures that laundering complies with appropriate standards, BS EN 14065 and HTM-01-04.  So why don’t more UK care homes make use of commercial laundry services?

The TSA (Textile Services Association) is investigating the conundrum.  It commissioned the large care home survey, in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU), which clearly demonstrates that care homes need support to ensure a hygienic laundry solution. The TSA is working with DMU to ensure that training, support and knowledge sharing are developed in partnership for both in-house and outsourced solutions. The objective is for the care home sector to be able to make informed decisions when it comes to laundry operations.

Following the research, the TSA has organised a trip for its members to Belgium.  There they will visit a world-leading care home processing laundry, CLOVA, and have presentations from laundries specialising in the sector from Germany, Holland and Belgium.  In addition the results of the survey will be presented and there are sessions planned on the UK care home sector and the supply chain challenges.

“Using commercial laundries provides a simple solution for care homes, ensuring standards are met,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.  “Outsourcing can also help alleviate the problems of staff shortages in the sector – and it means care home staff have more time for residents.”

Coupled with their ability to maintain the highest hygiene standards, commercial laundries are also highly efficient and use less resources than the alternative.  On average, a typical in-house care home laundry machine will use 20 to 30 litres of water and consume 3 to 3.5kwh for each kg of washing.  A typical commercial laundry uses 3 litres of water and 1.1kwh of power.

“Commercial laundries already look after a significant proportion of the NHS’s needs,” says Stevens.  “The care home sector is five times the size of the NHS, so it represents a huge potential market for our members.”

The trip to Brussels takes place on Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th October.

The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represents commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies.  Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.