St Joseph’s Hospice has been on the same site in Hackney since 1905, growing over the years into a substantial modern hospice including palliative care, education and research. It provides services for people with life limiting and terminal illness living it the City of London and the Boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham, and in neighbouring areas.
With 42 in-patient beds the hospice generates a considerable amount of laundry, and for many years now the hospice has had a relationship with Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems to supply and maintain washers and dryers. The large laundry room includes two recently purchased Primus Amazon steam heated 18kg washer extractors, a larger Primus high-spin speed 40kg washer, two small washers that are used for patients’ personal laundry and three Huebsch tumble dryers which are still going strong at 12 years old.
Paul Freeman, facilities supervisor at the hospice, told us that the relationship with Armstrong was excellent. “The equipment is robust and reliable – even after many years of service”, he told us. “If we do have a problem with a machine the engineers come out within 24 hours to get it up and running again, and there’s always good advice when we need to expand or replace a machine”. The machines are operated by dedicated laundry staff and are all in operation seven days a week. “We aim to get all the washing done in the mornings when the beds are changed”, Paul said, “leaving the afternoons for ironing and finishing and doing personal items for the patients.”
In common with every other aspect of the hospice, the laundry comes across as impressive and well organised, with space for further expansion when required. Of the 42 beds, eight are respite beds to give two week breaks to carers. Apart from the in-patient facilities, the hospice runs numerous groups and social events for the some 1200 outpatients that it deals with every year, has a thriving cafe on the ground floor and a delightful garden where patients can be wheeled out in their beds in good weather. Of the £14 million a year it costs to run the hospice, only 50% comes from the Government with all the rest having to be raised from charitable donations.
Colin Farquharson, St Ermin’s Hotel
Suzy Brandwood, The Elms School
Wendy Clayton, Chepstow Nursing & Care Home
Fr Oliver, Douai Abbey
James Suter, The Gliffae Country House Hotel
Shaid Aziz, Bright Wash Launderette
Marilyn Collins, Oaklands Care Home