From laundry rooms to kitchens and everywhere in between, care homes must follow strict standards to ensure the safety of their residents. So, if you’re running a care home, then having the correct commercial equipment in place is vital.
To help you find the right equipment for your care home, we’ve put together this care home commercial buying guide. Here, we outline what equipment is needed for care homes, why this equipment is required and the standard you’ll need to follow.
Laundry equipment for care homes
The healthcare sector relies on the highest levels of cleanliness in order to keep residents safe. This is why it’s so important that you purchase equipment that helps you fulfil your legal obligations to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Department of Health’s Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-04 regulations.
In a care home, disinfection must be achieved in every wash cycle. To ensure performance and compliance, you need to use commercial laundry equipment. You also need to ensure you run heavily soiled laundry through a sluice cycle and pre-wash cycle before washing the laundry in an appropriate cycle.
When drying laundry, it’s also important that you use safety-focused commercial dryers that will reduce risk. You should also dry linen and clothes immediately after washing and remove items from the dryer as soon as they are dry.
For the ultimate in laundry disinfection, take a look at our OTEX disinfection system, which provides a verifiable way to meet HTM 01-04. OTEX is available with a verification unit that monitors the amount of ozone being injected into the wash process and provides a printed ‘receipt’ confirming the cycle has achieved disinfection. This then provides you with the audit trail you need for CQC inspections.
Catering equipment for care homes
Monitoring food safety and achieving the highest level of general hygiene is vital in residential care homes. After all, vulnerable residents are more at risk from food poisoning and associated illnesses, while outbreaks of E.coli could be more likely due to the weak immune systems of residents.
Much like with laundry, the CQC is responsible for inspecting the cleanliness of your kitchen. On top of this, as a care home, you’ll also need to have a food safety plan based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. You must also provide your local food safety authority with evidence that the plan is being followed.
To make sure you follow best practices, you’ll need to have appropriate refrigeration and cooking appliances in place. Due to this, you need to purchase the correct catering equipment for care homes.
In the kitchen of your care home, food must be stored at a temperature of 8ºC or below. This allows you to control the multiplication of most bacteria in perishable food. In care homes, it’s recommended practice to operate refrigerators and chillers at 5ºC or below.
Thankfully, to help make monitoring temperature simple, commercial fridges for care homes usually come with external thermometers. These fridges are also specifically designed to maintain the correct temperatures. A domestic fridge or freezer would struggle with this, so specialist equipment is required.
Similarly, you should ensure that your commercial freezer keeps food at temperatures of -18ºC or below. This will prevent bacteria from multiplying. A blast chiller can also ensure food is cooled rapidly before storing in a freezer, reducing bacteria.
On top of this, you also need to select the right cooking equipment for your care home. Generally speaking, temperatures of 75ºC or above are effective in destroying almost all types of bacteria. However, cooking temperatures below this level are also effective provided that the food is held at these temperatures for a suitable time period.
To ensure that you reach these temperatures in your kitchen, we recommend that you use a combi oven with an in-built temperature probe. This will also make sure that you are able to accurately record cooking data, which can be invaluable for audit purposes. On top of this, hot cupboards are an ideal way to maintain temperature while transporting food.
Macerators for care homes
In your care home, you’ll likely have plenty of single-use medical items, such as bedpans and urine bottles. Disposing of these items manually can pose dangers. For example, if you use yellow bags, then you could be at risk of wide-area contamination. This is because manual disposal can pose a cross-contamination risk when carried through communal areas to a central bin store (which can pose its own infection control challenges).
Thankfully, you can eliminate this possibility by instead using automatic medical pulp macerators, which provide you with a fast, cost-effective and hassle-free alternative to manual sluicing. Ultimately, a macerator can reduce the risk of cross-infection in ‘dirty utility’ and sluice rooms. Plus, you can also reduce the inconvenience and unpleasantness of yellow waste bag build-up.
With the help of a macerator, you can efficiently and safely dispose of single-use medical items such as bedpans and urine bottles in under a minute. Plus, with hands-free technology, you can reliably eliminate cross-infection at the touch of a button and ensure that pulp and human waste are disposed of simply and safely.
Heating and air conditioning equipment for care homes
Finally, you’ll also need to consider temperature control in your care home. This extends to both heating and air conditioning equipment for care homes.
Older people feel the cold more than younger generations and they cannot keep warm by moving around as much. Added to this, keeping a care home warm can prevent illness.
The temperature of a care home can directly affect how often residents get sick and the severity of the illness. After all, greater susceptibility to colds, flu and pneumonia happen when residents aren’t able to get warm. As a result, proper temperature control is vital.
Similarly, when the weather gets hot in the summer, periods of prolonged heat can cause residents great discomfort. In some instances, it can also lead to residents becoming ill. In extreme scenarios when residents are already vulnerable, it can lead to fatalities if left unresolved. Due to this, a proper cooling setup, such as air conditioning, is just as vital as a heating solution.
Thankfully, our commercial heating and air conditioning solutions for care homes are built around your needs. Our heating range includes floor standing and wall-hung boilers as well as water cylinders and water heaters. Our air conditioning range covers wall-mounted, ceiling cassette air units, split units and VRV systems.
To help ensure you have the right systems in place, we will conduct an initial site assessment before our expert and skilled design and engineering team install your future-proofed commercial heating and air conditioning system.
That concludes our care home commercial buying guide. At JLA, we’ve been helping care homes for almost 50 years. If you’re still unsure what equipment your care home needs, then contact our expert advisors today. We’d love to help you find the perfect solution for your needs.