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Essential Healthcare Solutions

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Essential Healthcare Solutions get tough on cross infection prevention with Miele

Eradicating potentially harmful bugs such as C.diff, MRSA and Norovirus is just one of the tasks Essential Healthcare Solutions performs daily. As a specialist provider in medical equipment and service, the Yorkshire-based organisation supplies, decontaminates and services Dynamic Air Mattresses for the NHS and care homes throughout the UK.

The mattresses are specifically designed for the needs of hospital patients and care home residents, to alleviate areas of pressure and provide comfort for those who spend long periods of time in bed. When the mattress is no longer required by a patient, it is returned to Essential for specialist cleaning, decontamination, servicing or repair.

Essential Healthcare Solutions can have in excess of 300 of its mattresses in just one hospital. The organisation cyclically processes equipment delivery, collection for decontamination and redelivery to the site. It is pivotal that each stage of this process is managed efficiently, and that laundry processes are consistently carried out to the required high standards to ensure the decontamination process has been carried out effectively.

Helping To Raise Standards

At Essential Healthcare Solution’s decontamination centre, mattresses go through a wash-based disinfection process to remove any traces of potential contamination. Due to the nature of the equipment it launders, compliance with the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) to provide backflow protection is a legal requirement. In order to meet the Department of Health’s standards for controlling infection in laundry, the correct choice of machinery is key for this rigorous process.

Mattress care during the wash cycle is always a priority for Essential. Ensuring all laundry processes meet industry regulations; Essential created specific internal processes to handle large volumes of specialist mattress decontamination with high temperature requirements. Essential turned to local commercial laundry equipment service provider – JTM Service – to equip its decontamination centre. Extensive experience working with the NHS and Care Homes meant JTM Service understood the pressures Essential faced handling large loads quickly and effectively, while mitigating cross infection risk and delivering outstanding cleaning performance. 

The rigorous demands placed on the machines show it is vital the recommended equipment is economical, energy efficient, robust, reliable, and built to last.

JTM recognised that Essential’s specialist requirements are most effectively met by Miele’s high performance and quality, commercial washing machines. JTM installed two Miele PW814 Performance Plus machines which not only ensure Essential’s strict hygiene requirements for safe disinfection are met, but are also WRAS approved. With 14kg capacity, the machines are able to easily manage the size and speciality of the loads that Essential launder daily.

A NeQis System supplied by JTM is in use. This independent, third party, validation system provides real time records and reports to verify that each wash cycle has met the required decontamination standards.

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Up To The Job

JTM installed two Miele PT8403 Professional dryers with capacity equal to the washing machines, ensuring the mattresses are thoroughly dried. Essential benefits from the longevity assurance that comes with the Miele brand. Miele machines are fully tested post build to last 30,000 hours. Over ten years, that is –  eight hours use a day, 365 days per year. Miele machines’ drum technology is gentle on fabric and prevents damage to the external fabric of the mattresses.

Tom Owens, managing director, Essential Healthcare Solutions said:

The JTM team understood the challenges we face when it comes to laundering large items and our need to ensure our processes meet rigorous decontamination standards.

JTM was not only able to meet our demands in terms of finding us the best equipment for the job, but was also able to offer us the best ongoing support and maintenance so that we remain operational at all times.”

Building work is underway to significantly expand the decontamination facilities, Essential will be looking to JTM and Miele again to equip its new facility to the same high standard. The new, larger decontamination centre will help the medical equipment provider make a positive impact to the quality of people’s lives while continuing to help raise the standard of care.


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Paragon Veterinary Referrals

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Paragon Veterinary Referrals prevents any stains on its reputation with Miele

Cardiology, dermatology and orthopaedic surgery are just some of the many procedures carried out at Paragon Veterinary Referrals. Opening its doors earlier this year, small animals from across the UK are referred to this Wakefield-based, state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary centre due to the range of expertise and facilities it provides.

Treating anywhere between 25-30 pets on average per day, the busy centre has five theatres including dedicated endoscopy and fluoroscopy facilities, a digital imaging suite and MRI and CT equipment.

The Relationship

Determined to provide the best care possible to all of the animals that enter its facility, Paragon appreciates the importance of ensuring its laundry also features state-of-the-art equipment. Laundry has an important role to play in maintaining professional standards at the practice and crucially helping to prevent the spread of infection too.

When deciding which equipment to use in its laundry, Paragon had a number of key requirements. In addition to the machines being able to wash to high temperatures and comply with Paragon’s own policies for infection control, it also needed machines that could handle large loads on a constant basis. Machines also needed to be energy efficient, robust and built to last. And, due to the nature of the items it launders, Paragon was also keen to equip its laundry with Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) Category 5 compliant washing machines to provide water backflow protection.

Paragon turned to its local commercial laundry equipment provider, JTM Service to equip its new laundry and provide ongoing support and maintenance. Having had previous experience of Miele machines in its other branch practices, and aware of the brand’s reputation for quality, Paragon was keen to kit out its new facility with the same brand of appliances.

Paragon also selected three Miele dryers, two energy efficient gas dryers and a tumble dryer with its own internal pump which removes condensed water itself. All Miele appliances are also gentle on fabric, thereby prolonging the life items that go through the laundry on a regular basis.

All laundry at Paragon is taken care of by the auxiliary nurses and thanks to the size of the load capacity; ease of use of the machines; and fast programme times, the washing of surgeon and nurses scrubs, towels and bedding is handled quickly and effectively. Paragon also has strict infection control policies in place and a dedicated nurse monitors that compliance with the centre’s guidelines is consistently adhered to. The nurse regularly performs random swabbing of animal bedding and other items to ensure that the laundry process is effectively killing any traces of infection.

As a Miele accredited partner, JTM was able to help Paragon select the right Miele appliances for its needs. It chose two of Miele’s Benchmark machines which have large capacity, short cycle times and are energy efficient. It also chose a Miele Little Giant which is compact in size but built and tested to commercial specifications. Each machine is designed and built to last for at least 30,000 washes.

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What the client says

Rebecca Lunn, operations co-ordinator at Paragon Veterinary Referrals said: “We appreciate that our customers have high expectations on staff appearance and cleanliness and hygiene throughout our facility.

“First impressions matter and the appearance of both our staff and waiting facilities can have a huge impact on our reputation. We’re committed to providing our customers with the best possible care at all times and our laundry facility has a crucial role to play in us delivering on this commitment.”

With the reassurance it’s doing everything possible to guarantee its patients are treated in an extremely clean environment, Paragon’s team of nurses and surgeons are free to do what they do best, deliver the best possible care to all the animals referred to the centre.


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Yorkshire Housing

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Leeds-based Yorkshire Housing owns and manages more than 18,000 homes and provides a range of services enabling people to live independently across the county. The organisation, at the time of writing in late 2018, employed over 600 people. To help achieve its ambition that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a quality home they can afford, Yorkshire Housing had a strategic priority to provide 3,000 more dwellings for people with all incomes by 2021.

The organisation, which has a customer focus and was already achieving a 90 per cent client satisfaction level, also aimed to help 1,000 people into employment, better jobs, training and volunteering and assist 15,000 older people to live independently

The Relationship

JTM originally had a relationship with Bradford-based Brunel Housing, which transferred its stock to the future Yorkshire Housing in 2006. JTM has so far supplied 175 commercial washing, drying and dishwashing machines for around 90 per cent the customer’s sites containing flats and sheltered housing.

Most of these appliances were manufactured by Miele, as the provider is the authorised dealer for this German global market leader in Yorkshire and the Humber plus North-East England. Although Yorkshire Housing also has some commercial machines from other sources, including a number inherited through mergers, JTM has already extended its rapid-reaction repair service – it boasts an enviable overall 94.6 per cent first-time fix rate – and annual maintenance offering to these appliances.

Moreover, Yorkshire Housing is now replacing these additional machines, as they become inoperable, with Miele products that JTM supplies. It’s therefore likely the company will have provided all the customer’s commercial appliances and be its sole supplier of related services within the next few years. This standardisation is delivering advantages such as minimising damaging downtime, as JTM has fast access to more than 350,000 relevant parts. JTM also maintains an asset register, so it can alert Yorkshire Housing when maintenance visits, for example, are due.

These deliver customer benefits such as ensuring maximised machine speed and output quality, optimised energy efficiency and minimised bills, plus legal and regulatory compliance.

What the client says

Michael Buckley, Property Compliance Manager, Yorkshire Housing, says: “Both the engineers and the back-office staff at JTM are excellent. “They deliver a highly personal service and if a machine breaks down, for example, we get straight through to a human being, not an automated voice. If the staff member we’ve tried to contact isn’t there, someone else takes charge of our problem immediately.

“We monitor contractors’ response times, but this has never been a problem with JTM, as they’re very reactive. Their communication is outstanding too – if they need to order a part, for example, they keep us in the loop until it’s fitted.

“Their people have an impressive knowledge base and we’ve never had issues with their engineers’ technical capabilities. Many of their staff have been with the business for several years, which must be a positive sign too.

“We like the leasing options JTM offers and are now obtaining all our replacement machines on this basis, as it enables us to accurately service-charge capital costs back to our customers. We can, therefore, reclaim money and order better machines, with higher specifications, in the future.

“Overall, JTM delivers exactly what we want. I’d be quite happy to recommend them to other businesses, including other social landlords.”


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Maria Mallaband

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Leeds-based Maria Mallaband Care Group (MMCG) is one of the UK’s largest independent care providers. The business employs over 5,000 staff, houses nearly 4,000 residents at around 85 homes across the country and boasts an annual turnover of £180m.

MMCG was founded during 1996 by Phil Burgan, a former pharmacist, who named it after his grandmother and remains its chief executive officer. The organisation now provides day, elderly mentally infirm, dementia, disability, palliative, nursing, and residential care, plus respite breaks. While some care companies have struggled in recent years, MMCG has continued growing, maintaining its policy of acquiring existing homes and building new ones. The group’s ethos includes that happiness and well-being affect health as much as high-quality physical care, so its continued significant investment in developing services for residents embraces areas such as activities and events programmes, community involvement and dining experiences, in addition to relevant staff training.

The Relationship

MMCG became a JTM customer during 2013, when a key contact, with whom the group had dealt over the provision, maintenance and repair of commercial laundry and dishwashing equipment for several years, moved to that supplier from a rival company.

JTM has been the customer’s sole provider since then and at the time of writing, in early 2019, had supplied washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers for all MMCG sites bar the one in Jersey. JTM recommends suitable equipment to the customer, from brands such as Miele and Girbau, based on individual site needs.

MMCG retains some additional machines, acquired when it bought 33 homes from Southern Cross Healthcare, which eventually became insolvent, in 2011, before returning these sites to profitability.

Even in these cases, however, JTM has long been responsible for the appliances’ repair and maintenance – the company has fast access to over 350,000 relevant parts and boasts an enviable 94.6 per cent first-time fix rate – and is replacing this equipment for MMCG as it becomes inoperable.

Additional services JTM provides to the customer include designing the laundry rooms at all sites the group opens – its next new-build home is due to begin operating in Exeter during the first half of 2019. The supplier also maintains an asset register for all MMCG’s laundry and dishwashing machines, so it can advise the group when a maintenance visit is due, for example.

What the client says

James Burgan, Commercial Director, MMCG, says: “I’m entirely happy with my relationship with JTM, which has always been good. They’ve got the right values and are nice people to work with. The relationship came through one individual, but I happily deal with other key people at JTM now too.

“There are bound to be occasional issues with the appliances, so it’s JTM’s responses that really count and they’re always impressive in that respect. Their engineers’ extensive technical knowledge also means they can mainly fix problems there and then, but if that’s not possible, they’re quick with estimates and in obtaining parts and communicate well with us over these matters, which is all you can ask.

“JTM’s knowledge of the care home sector is also good. They’re very careful in and around the homes, know how to conduct themselves and respect residents’ privacy.

“I’d have no hesitation in recommending JTM to other businesses, including other care home providers.”


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Karbon Homes

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Karbon Homes, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, is one of the North of England’s largest housing associations, employing about 800 people. The organisation owns or manages nearly 30,000 properties in the North-East and Yorkshire, located from the Scottish border almost to the Humber. These include social or affordable rent homes, shared ownership dwellings and supported housing for people with disabilities or mental health issues.

The organisation’s portfolio includes some homes operated by York Housing Association, which became an independent Karbon group member in December 2017, and 1,300 acquired from fellow social landlord the Guinness Partnership five months later. At the time of writing, in late 2018, Karbon was working towards increasing the new properties it builds annually with partners from about 350 to 500 and planning to invest over £233m in constructing dwellings during the next five years.

The Relationship

The current contract between Karbon Homes and JTM began in 2013, although the relationship originated some years earlier. JTM is now Karbon’s sole provider of commercial laundry machines and related services.

JTM has so far delivered and installed about 220 appliances at around 75 Karbon sites – some housing up to 60 residents – from North Yorkshire to Northumberland. Most machines the customer now operates were made by Miele, as the supplier is the authorised dealer for this German global market leader in Yorkshire and the Humber plus North-East England. Karbon retains a small number of other commercial laundry appliances too, partly as a result of its deal with the Guinness Partnership, but is now working with JTM to replace these, as they become inoperable, with Miele products.

This standardisation will see the full maintenance and rapid-reaction repair service JTM currently operates for machines it has provided extended to all Karbon’s commercial laundry appliances. The service delivers advantages such as minimising damaging downtime, as the supplier has fast access to more than 350,000 relevant parts and boasts an enviable overall 94.6 per cent first time fix rate. Other benefits of JTM’s service include maximised machine speed and output quality, optimised energy efficiency and minimised bills, plus continued legal and regulatory compliance.

JTM also maintains an asset register, so it can alert Karbon when maintenance visits are due, for example.

What the client says

Mark Mulhern, Support Services Team Leader, Karbon Homes, says: “We’re absolutely happy with the relationship with JTM, which is very good from top to bottom and ticks all the boxes, as far as we’re concerned.

“The main thing JTM provides to us is reassurance. We’re always confident in, and act on, their advice, as the information from people in their office and reports from engineers on the ground can be trusted, relied upon and are and of the highest professional standard.

“JTM’s back-office staff provide us with quotes and obtain parts very promptly and, as it’s quite a small team, I know who does what and who to go to with a given query.

“Their engineers’ response times are always good too. Their technical knowledge also means they spot issues and get to the bottom of them quickly, then set out the options clearly for us about where we can go from there.

“The contract with JTM is probably our easiest and smoothest to manage. We have contracts involving smaller volumes and lower costs, yet they’re more problematic, because of supplier performances. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend JTM to other businesses.”