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Walking in Their Shoes!

Rusthall Lodge Care Home have started an initiative steering members of the senior management team into roles that support the high-quality care residents receive.

Today, Operations Manager Bill Blackford worked for part of the morning in the laundry which services in excess of 1,000 items of clothing each day for the Home. “There is no one department that’s more important than any other in a care home” said Bill, “...everything runs in tandem to ensure the Home runs smoothly. All departments have to work together” he added.

Working alongside laundry assistants Chelsey Jempson (middle) who has been at Rusthall Lodge for 8-years and Trish Rootes (right) who is soon to retire after 3-years of service at Rusthall Lodge, bed linen was folded and ironed, clothes sorted, and shirts pressed.

As well as ensuring clothes are clean, the laundry room represents the front line for a home's infection control. While the Care Quality Commission states there are no specific regulations concerning how laundry is managed, considerable care and attention should be observed to ensure soiled linen doesn't come into contact with clean linen.

“Everything has its place, and everyone has their place” commented Trish “We have to work as a team as we all have different strengths”.

And everything does have its own place. Lining the walls of the laundry are clearly labelled boxes, each bearing the residents name and room number. Naming or numbering clothes can present  challenge for staff if this isn't done but on the whole, there is very little laundry that goes unclaimed or gets lost.

When the washing arrives in the laundry, it's into the washers. When the cycle is finished, it’s into the dryers. When that programme finishes, the laundry is sorted, pressed and put on trolleys in the case of towels, flannels and sheets; which are then taken onto the floors to be put away neatly in the linen stores for the care staff. Clothes are neatly stored in boxes or on hangers, depending on the wishes of the individual resident before; all this is done before they're delivered to residents rooms.

With two assistants working in the laundry, a further two are out on the floor collecting and delivering; it really is a team effort.

Being very mindful of health and safety, the laundry is never left unattended with machinery running and after every drying cycle, fluff and lint are cleared from the dryer filters. These also get a deep clean at the end of every week.

Asked what he learned from his experience in the laundry, Bill commented that it runs like clockwork, everything is neat and tidy but there's possible danger if you're wearing a tie while operating a roller iron!

The experience was a really positive one so we're hoping other members of the senior management team will now slot into the various departments at Rusthall Lodge over the coming weeks to see how they operate. Infact, the Director of Care may be spending a few hours in maintenance! Either way, the only way to fully understand an individual department is to work within it and 'walk in their shoes'.

Looking for a care home for you, or a loved one, to Live Your Life?

Call 01892 556 500 to arrange a visit to Rusthall Lodge Care Home

Serving Rusthall, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas in Kent and Sussex

Residential care, Nursing care, Respite care

Written on 30th April 2019

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