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Hospital starts redevelopment of ageing laundry facility

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Karen Trott, a laundry attendant at the Bermuda Hospitals Board (Photograph supplied)
Sharon Smith, a laundry attendant at the Bermuda Hospitals Board (Photograph supplied)

A $6.6 million project is under way to renovate the Bermuda Hospitals Board’s ageing laundry facility, a spokeswoman said.

The work is expected to deliver efficiencies that will reduce costs.

A BHB spokeswoman said the laundry and linen department had been housed in the basement of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s General Wing since the facility was built in the 1960s.

Preston Swan, the BHB acting chief operating officer, explained: “Renovation of this area is necessary as the infrastructure is almost 60 years old and failing.

“This department services all the laundry for both our hospitals, KEMH and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

“On average, 5,000 to 6,000lbs are processed in the facility every day.”

The Bermuda Hospitals Board launched a $6.6 million upgrade to its laundry facility. Staff are working in a transitional area set up for use until the works are completed (Photograph supplied)

The old facility closed earlier this month so that the upgrade – which has a December completion date – could be carried out.

A staff member folds laundry in a transitional area set up while the Bermuda Hospitals Board works on a $6.6 million renovation of its ageing laundry facility (Photograph supplied)

Ellsworth Wainwright, the BHB’s principal engineer, said: “New hot and cold water lines, steam piping and exhaust ductwork will be installed to replace the ageing infrastructure.

“The old boiler room building will be demolished, and a new building will be constructed to house the new hot water system, allowing the washers to operate more efficiently.”

The BHB spokeswoman said the efficiencies will reduce costs.

Jerome Swainson, the BHB’s hotel services director, added: “We have experienced complete equipment failures multiple times over the past year, putting the organisation at material risk in being able to execute our mandate.

“The new modern equipment will provide efficiencies in wash cycles, and water and chemical use, as well as reduced energy consumption.

“Additional savings will be achieved in the reduction of additional hours, overtime and outsourcing due to frequent equipment downtime over the years.”

The laundry department’s 33 workers will remain employed during the renovation.

The spokeswoman said: “Most of the staff carry out their regular duties, such as sorting, folding and distribution, from a temporary workstation created in another area of the basement.

“A few laundry operators have been redeployed to one of the outside service providers, which has been retained to launder BHB’s linen while the renovations are under way.”

She added that the general contractor for the project was Greymane Construction.

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Published July 30, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated July 30, 2022 at 7:51 am)

Hospital starts redevelopment of ageing laundry facility

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