A new £100,000 laundry at The Retreat in York will reduce the chance of infection, using state-of-the-art technology. The investment, which includes £70,000 of capital equipment, has replaced the old 1940’s steam-powered laundry. The Retreat is a not-for-profit specialist mental health provider, working with the NHS to provide care for people with complex and difficult needs. Part of The Retreat’s commitment to improving patient services, the new laundry includes modern washing machines, dryers and ironers. In addition, the introduction of chemical disinfection equipment means that the new laundry will be an integral part of the hospital’s strict infection control procedures. The Retreat’s facilities manager Martyn Ferguson said: “We have replaced our old 1940’s washing machines and dryers with modern, extremely efficient equipment which, in addition to significantly improving the working conditions for the laundry staff, will produce a better quality product for our patients. “The new laundry helps us towards a more cost effective and healthier environment and, because of the improvements in energy efficiency, we also have a rapid return on our investment. “We wanted to retain this service in house to offer a high quality service to our patients and we are very proud of the new facilities. Here at The Retreat we offer modern health care, based on traditional values and any surplus we make is reinvested in our services.”
The Retreat is also looking at the possibility of harvesting and recycling rainwater to be used in the laundry. Using collected rainwater, instead of mains water, will reduce the amount of water consumption and help The Retreat become more environmentally friendly. The water will have to go through a filter process before being reused and The Retreat is currently monitoring how much water it uses in its laundry to estimate the cost benefits of installing the recycling system.
Martyn said: “Collecting rain water and reusing it is something we are looking at very closely as part of our commitment to becoming a more Green organisation. The early indications are that this may be a good example of a green initiative having sound economic benefit.”