We have over 50 years of experience working with the NHS, so it is fair to say we understand the healthcare business, environment, culture, budgets, procedures and specific challenges.
An NHS Trust working across three acute sites approached SYR with issues relating to its use of traditional cotton wet mops to clean floors. The mops were collected into plastic bags and taken to a laundry area to be washed and dried. They were then redistributed around the site.
Our first task was to understand the Trust concerns, view the environment, identify the current range of equipment and observe how the products were being used. By experiencing the working practices first-hand and completing detailed assessments across the sites we were able to identify the reasons that the current equipment was not suitable for the task.
With our customers’ agreement, we identified 7 main concerns:
1. Laundry areas were not suitable for the volume of mops that required mopping.
2. Machine breakdowns created back logs in the laundering process.
3. Some laundry areas required significant investment to improve.
4. Space required for a compliant laundry area would be an issue at another hospital.
5. The approximate capital investment for just one hospital was £33,000.
6. Transfer of mops was time consuming – staff were collecting and distributing over 2,000 mops per week across large sites.
7. Moving such a large volume of mops across sites looked unhygienic and unprofessional.
A switch to disposable mop heads was proposed, advantages outlined and six-week trials of three alternatives was established across all sites. The trials were evaluated by hotel service managers, domestic supervisors, domestic staff and infection prevention.
The selected mop head was SYRSorb Kentucky mop – a highly absorbent, synthetic fibre mop. These heads fitted the Trust’s existing handless and buckets and were used in the same way as the cotton mops that the cleaners routinely used. Onsite training was completed by SYR and a Mop Protocol was introduced, ensuring the transition from one product to another was seamless.
• Infection prevention: When cleaning a barrier room, a disposable mop prevents spread of infection
• The number of episodes of C. Diff halved following the implementation of disposable mops
• Cost savings: Trust costings showed a saving of £2k per annum
• The Trust felt the floors looked visually cleaner
• Floors were left drier than with a traditional cotton mop
• Cleaning staff found the mops lighter and easy to handle
In 1985 the switch was made into manufacturing, influenced by the company’s service roots in cleaning.