Faster and more efficient laundry now in operation
Monday 27 February 2023: Bermuda Hospital Board’s upgraded laundry department has come through its testing phase with a clean bill of health.
CEO & President Michael Richmond commented: “Every single patient care area requires clean, sanitised laundry. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have an effective and efficient laundry service supplying the required linens, gowns, towels and other items in the delivery of patient care. In fact, about 6,000lbs of it is cleaned, dried and pressed every day at BHB.
“Prior to the upgrade, our laundry staff were hampered by old equipment that was prone to breaking down. They had to work with an infrastructure that hadn’t been properly upgraded in over 60 years. The ultimate beneficiary of the upgrade is patient care, so my thanks go to all involved in making this project a success and special appreciation for our laundry staff for all they do each day to help us deliver the highest quality and safest care to our patients.”
Laundry Manager Kizzy Philips gave special thanks to the laundry staff and the BIU: “We’ve had six months of the upgrade, and many years of working with old equipment and infrastructure. Taking us through to today, the laundry staff have been fantastic, and we couldn’t have asked for a better working partnership with the BIU. I’m excited to see a laundry facility that helps laundry staff support the clinical services across all our campuses. The new equipment makes a huge difference to our productivity and efficiency, and we are proud knowing that we are now meeting international laundry standards.”
Director of Hotel Services Jerome Swainson added: “The laundry processes all linens, gowns and clothes used by newborns through to those near the end of life, the curtains used across the hospital, microfibre cloths used by Environmental Services, as well lab coats and scrubs for staff. For safety and comfort patients and staff need clean laundry items constantly and we can now deliver this through a more efficient service.”
The project started in July 2022 and cost $6.6 million, in line with its original budget. The impact of the costs on BHB, however, was eased by a $1.3 million donation by a single donor through the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation (BHCF).
Executive Director of BHCF Kim Pratt noted: “We are very grateful to our donor, the Pritzker/Schwartz, Vlock family, who could see the importance of a modern laundry to the delivery of high quality patient care. The donor had originally reached out during COVID to see how they could help, but responded when they heard BHB needed to upgrade and expand the laundry facility. The donor stated that they know this would have a long-lasting effect. The following is a direct quote: ‘We love Bermuda and the hospital as it is such an important resource for the island we love so much.’”
Vice President of Hotel Services, Facilities and Property Management Danny Moore gave special thanks to the facilities staff and vendors working on the project: “Working with such old infrastructure is extremely challenging and this project was not without its surprises and challenges. It’s great credit to all our partners on the project and internal staff that we worked through them, and managed to keep to the budget. The new laundry is a credit to all involved in the project.”
About the BHB laundry and upgrade project:
What is cleaned in the BHB laundry?
All linens, blankets, curtains, clothes, such as patient gowns and babywear, staff scrubs, microfibre cloths and washcloths. About 6,000lbs of laundry is cleaned, dried and pressed every day.
Which areas does laundry support?
All BHB facilities, including KEMH, MWI, group homes, Agape House and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre
Number of laundry staff
33 including full time, part time and casual
What new equipment is in the new laundry?
- Six new washing machines – one 450lb machine, five 160lb machines and one smaller 55lb machine for baby linens and scrubs. There used to be three machines.
- Six new dryers – five 200lb dryers and one 80lb dryer. There used to be three dryers.
- Two new folding machines.
What were the infrastructure upgrades?
- Changes to infrastructure allow a workflow that means soiled linen is sorted in a separate area away from clean linen
- New hot and cold water lines, steam piping and exhaust ductwork
- Old boiler room demolished, with new building to house the new hot water system to allow the washers to operate more efficiently
- New infrastructure design makes repairs and maintenance easier, with access to the back of the dryers, for example
- New fire suppression system
- Direct Machinery
- Bermuda Commercial Laundry
- Especially for You Laundry
History of laundry renovations:
- The part of the hospital the laundry is in was built in the 1960s and there have been no major infrastructure upgrades since then
- There was an upgrade in 2004 (18 years ago) when three new 175lb dryers and two new 275lb washers were purchased along with a new air conditioning system, and upgraded steam supply and electrical distribution system
- In 2008 (14 years ago), a large 450lb washer, two folding machines and new software were purchased