COMMERCIAL: The board of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has decided to outsource its laundry and linen service to a preferred provider in order to avoid a £2.2m investment.

Chief executive Ron Calvert said the decision was a difficult one: “Deciding to outsource any service is difficult let alone one that staff feel passionately about. But the laundry on the Doncaster Royal Infirmary site needs investment of £2.2m to bring it up to 21st century standards.

“We can only spend the money once – we either invest in the laundry or in direct patient care. The Board decided that our core business is providing health services so we would let a laundry specialist provide our laundry and linen service.”

At its October meeting, the board was presented with the following options:

  • ‘do nothing’ and continue with the current service provision
  • keep the service ‘in house’ with capital investment of £2.2mn
  • outsource the service, with a new capital build for linen storage and distribution
  • outsource the service, with a refurbished linen storage and distribution.

The recommendations to the board was to award preferred commercial provider status for the outsourced option; award the contract, subject to final negotiations; and proceed to close the in-house laundry and implementation of an outsourced service.

On completion of the project, the outsourced option will save the trust £472,000 and avoid the £2.2m capital costs.

Around 28 staff will be affected but no redundancies are expected, the trust said. Some staff will be retained to provide local distribution services and it is envisaged that the remaining staff will be re-deployed in other areas of the organisation.

A number of posts are filled by temporary staff so that there is scope for redeploying permanent staff in situations like this.

Related files/tables