Due to COVID-19 the amount of clinical waste being produced by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn is greater than ever. The task of dealing with this waste is a never-ending mission for the 20 staff in the Trust’s waste and linen team.
Ensuring the site remains a clean and safe place for patients and staff is Chaz Scholefield, who after spending 31 years in the army has now been the hospital’s Waste and Linen Services Manager for the past four years. He said: “It’s a daily logistical challenge which we’re coping with well. As you might imagine, the overall the volume of clinical waste that we collect has increased during COVID-19, however as non-COVID wards currently have fewer patients that has helped to ease the pressure.
“We also work closely with clinical teams across the site to ensure staff have the scrubs and gowns they need and all patients continue to have crisp clean linen on the beds. There is a lot of hard work that goes into making that happen – in a normal year we deal with around 2.5 million pieces of linen. As we currently have fewer patients overall, the focus has shifted from bed linen to scrubs and gowns over recent weeks.”
“Safety always comes first so the team is being very careful with their hand hygiene and the use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) as you would expect. We generally go about our business without causing too much comment but it is widely acknowledged that hospitals simply couldn’t function without the services we provide so I’m very proud indeed of the great team I’m lucky to work with.”
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