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Laundry Fire at Southland Hospital

3.25pm, Wednesday 9 August "Quality and Humanity in Health"

Laundry Fire at Southland Hospital

Southland and Lakes District Hospitals' Linen Supplies Being Managed

Southland Hospital and Lakes District Hospitals' laundry and linen needs would continue to be met, despite the laundry building having been destroyed in a fire last night.

SDHB had initiated an action plan this morning, in conjunction with contracted laundry provider Alsco, to ensure appropriate provision of linen and laundry services would be maintained for the two DHB hospitals, as well as Dunstan and Gore Hospitals which are also serviced by Alsco.

Southland Hospital (Invercargill) and Lakes District Hospital (Queenstown) routinely held linen stocks in their facility to cover a period of 24-48 hours, meeting today's immediate linen requirements.

The hospitals' used linen is now being sent to Alsco's Dunedin Hospital laundry, which will meet the turnaround times required by the hospitals. Generally this is within 12 hours.

SDHB had also taken the precaution of urgently ordering in disposable gowns to increase stocks in the operating theatres.

In addition, a pool of linen was being coordinated through Canterbury Laundry (owned by Canterbury DHB) to ensure further stocks of linen were readily available as a contingency only.

The two hospitals have a high rotation of linen items that include patient nightgowns, theatre gowns, theatre 'scrubs', bed sheets, bed covers, bed quilts, facecloths, pillowcases, nappies and towels.

Using Southland Hospital's 30-bed Rehabilitation Ward as an example, the daily linen "top up" quantities include:

* 60 pillowcases * 60-120 bed sheets * 50 quilts * 150-220 facecloths * 90-160 bath towels

Hospital services are not disrupted as a result of the laundry fire, and patients and front-line staff are not affected.


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