Washing uniforms at home: adherence to hospital policy
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Washing uniforms at home: adherence to hospital policy

Kate Riley PhD student, School of Design, Department of Fashion and Textiles, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
Katie Laird Senior lecturer in microbiology, School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
John Williams Principal lecturer, School of Design, Department of Fashion and Textiles, De Montfort University, Leicester, England

Infection control is a priority for all hospitals to reduce the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). Textiles especially uniforms, are a possible route of HCAI transmission. There are protocols to ensure hospital laundry services meet accepted standards, however healthcare uniforms are laundered by staff at home and variations in practice occur. A questionnaire was used to conduct a service evaluation at four hospitals in different NHS trusts to determine how closely healthcare staff followed hospital guidelines on laundering and aftercare of uniforms at home. Responses showed that not all staff followed these guidelines; 44% of staff washed their uniforms below the recommended temperature of 60°C, which presents a potential route for cross-contamination and infection.

Correspondence k.riley@dmu.ac.uk

Nursing Standard. 29, 25,37-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.25.37.e9268

Received: 26 June 2014

Accepted: 25 November 2014

Published in print: 18 February 2015

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review