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Contingency Planning

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Have you got sufficient back-up plans in place to supply vital fresh linen to your hospital in an emergency? 

Planning for emergencies is task that every laundry manager should put in his or her diary for that 'quiet time' when everything else is going to plan. Productivity is up, complaints are down, the plant is scrupulously clean and all staff are trained up to level 4 NVQ. The next job is to draw up a contingency plan.

The big incidents, such as a fire that destroys the production facilities of a laundry, or vandalism that leaves a company without vehicles will eventually be put right. Burnt out shells are rebuilt, new equipment installed and production facilities improved. But in the meantime a tremendous effort will be needed to supply the clean linen needed, maintaining the laundry's customer base and keeping business until the new plant is commissioned.

When evaluating tenders for contracts, a favourite question is: "What would you do if your plant was to burn down." It can be embarrassing to listen to a manager try to bluff his or her way through. In theory they may have an arrangement with a local laundry. In practice ask for help on a Thursday and the local laundry may be able to provide help Friday or Saturday, but ask for help on the Tuesday after a bank holiday and the request is likely to be met with silence.

Attached below are some samples of policies/practices.

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