The Textile Services Association (TSA) is backing urgent calls for research into textiles and infection control and believes PHE should revise 2007 guidelines on washing NHS and other healthcare uniforms.

The TSA is pushing for urgent research into the ability of infectious diseases, including Covid-19, to survive on linen and clothing, even after it is washed in a domestic setting.  It’s especially concerning because many nurses and care home workers wash their uniforms at home – and there is evidence that some infection outbreaks in healthcare settings have been caused by inadequately managed washing equipment.  The TSA is also calling for Public Health England to revise guidelines the Association believes are outdated.

Currently Public Health England recommends uniforms are washed in commercial laundries, but it is not compulsory. Furthermore, it says that domestic washing should be adequate. However, this is based on reviews published in 2007 – and experts are saying that, especially in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s high time for proper research that will give accurate guidance on the matter. There is also increasing consensus within the research community that the infrastructure, processes and quality standards in a commercial laundry mean they are much better equipped to deal with all the risks associated with infectious textiles than is possible in a household or on-premises laundry setting. Read More