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Published Tuesday 2 May 2023

Our wonderful laundry team have seen it all and they work hard to make sure it all comes out in the wash – all with a smile on their dials.

The laundry team at Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley manage all linen and laundry services for our district, keeping our staff and patients supplied with clean linen, sheets, towels, gowns and scrubs.

They are part of Allied Laundry Services Limited (a subsidiary of Te Whatu Ora), which serves our district and the seven regions. They are based in Palmerston North, which is where they clean all of our soiled linen every day.

The plant processes on average 93 tons of laundry for our district each week, or around 60,000 individual pieces each and every day! While a small percentage of the work is commercial the amount of laundry the Allied Services team deal with is huge. They have 800 individual delivery locations across the region including our hospitals which means at least eight transportation journeys per day. It is a massive effort which our laundry team play a huge part in.

As one of the largest hospitals in the region our team manage a huge amount of work and between them, they have around 119 combined years of service. We were lucky to spend time with some of the team whose days often start with 3am shifts!

Starting early means they can unload the overnight truck from Palmerston North full of clean laundry. Lagi and Des both say “...after unloading the truck first thing, we deliver linen to wards, departments, clinics so they we can make sure they’re stocked up to begin their days. We also pack online orders and deliver them, while collecting used linen from around the hospitals.”

With a team dedicated to providing a quality customer services, Des is proud and happy to receive feedback the team do a great job with hardly any complaints. Lagi says “every year we give our surveys to the wards and departments. The feedback on our customer services is that we provide a great service. Clean linen is delivered on time and it always feels great to read the positive comments about the team”.

Des says the job keeps you extremely fit. The whole team have fitbits and do over 18,000 to 20,000 steps individually each day over a five day week. Double that if someone is away.Nikki says she is most proud “of having the opportunity to work with people that have a lot of dedication to the one workplace as some of the team have had 30 years plus working in Newtown”.Scott also mentions the wonderful team and the fact his biggest inspiration is “pretty much everyone I meet in daily life. People have amazing stories if you stop to listen.”

The team are hardworking and manage to fit in a lot even with their early starts. Outside of work Scott is a musician, sound and recording engineer and loves performing for people. Des plays pool to relax and Lagi loves baking. Family is important to the whole team. Like Nikki says, “I have so many people who have inspired me and I would need pages to list them all. At the end of the day it comes down to whānaungatanga. You help each other and do it together and no one gets left behind.”

Sustainability and safety at the heart of what the team do.

The team follow sustainable processes - such as not using plastic bags for collecting the laundry - and carefully considered safety procedures for the safe collection of dirty laundry in bags the laundry team picks up. For example, we no longer have pockets in scrubs which reduces the risk of an odd needle hurting someone when they pick up a bag and the staff sorting the soiled linen in Palmerston North

At the laundry in Palmerston North they:

  • use heat exchangers to remove heat from departing waste water
  • don’t use plastic bags
  • have LED lighting through entire facility
  • have low water use / water recycling plant
  • donate as much clean rag linen as possible
  • use lighter towels, scrubs and other products which uses less energy to clean and dry, and can withstand more washing cycles.

Caption: our laundry team based at Wellington Regional Hospital (left to Right): Lagi, Adi, Nikki and Des (Absent was Scott on the day of the photo)