The National : JUNE-SEPT 2017
THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER 2017 77 ii) Theatre Pre-Pack I don’t know where this originated, but suspect it was Germany and came in through the International Standards. It required a specifically self- ventilated, stand alone department, located within the laundry area with specially trained staff, normally selected from the finishing section. It was previously carried out within the hospital. This was - as one linen services Manager put it - a licence to print money given the rates charged for the various types of packs processed. Subsequently, one linen service (Cabrini) took this to the next stage, and were autoclaving and shrink wrapping on site. iii) The deregulation of public health linen provisions and with it the introduction of term contracts, altered the playing field - and playing conditions - beyond recognition with the private sector laundries now able to compete directly with institutional based linen services. It became “dollar driven” rather than “service driven”. The beginning of the end, with hospitals starved for funds by the government, opting, it seems, always to accept the lowest tender and the hospital linen services at a distinct disadvantage due to variations in Award conditions. (Private and public sector operate under different awards.) “Oh, for the old days!” pined Jack, “When we were given a region within the State and told to service the healthcare within that region to the best of our ability. Not that that was a bed of roses for us, either. “As a result of the de-regulation and some hospitals adopting the attitude that operating a linen service was no longer a ‘core activity’, we were seeing the closure of small and large Linen Services i.e. Linen Care, Loddon, Barwon, with all their work contracted out to private providers. “And so we have come to the situation where today we have five (or is it four?) services operating within the whole of Victoria. “A situation which has led us to the decision to wind up VILA, a great organisation that made a different to the standard of patient care in Victorian Hospitals. The vital link in the chain of patient care”. “Seriously I would not like to be working in today’s climate. “I believe you do not have the opportunities that we had, the feeling of being part of a team. Someone to turn to if you were experiencing a problem. Also, we had an assured future, do you? The training opportunities are limited, the national body MAKING HEADLINES! Decades of excellent speakers, plant visits, fun, sport, and fellowship. Michael Murray, Ken Draper (President), Gary Smart and Paul Robinson, just one of the hard working VILA Executive Committees over the years.
DRY CLEANER MAY 2017