Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething, visited the Old East Glamorgan Hospital in Church Village to meet staff and announce investment to improve NHS laundry services across Wales.
Cwm Taf University Health Board is set to receive £264,000 to replace tumble dryers, serving two district general hospitals, five community hospitals and the Keir Hardie University Health Park.
Vaughan Gething said: “It’s great to meet some of the unsung heroes of the NHS – the teams of staff keeping a vital service running for patients across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.
“In 2014-2015 almost 30 million individual items were laundered in NHS Wales. Our laundry teams do large-scale, efficient work that helps keep patients safe and warm. Clean laundry is a vital part of good patient care and we can’t overlook the contribution they make.
“This is why we are investing £1million this year in laundry services in Cwm Taf as well as in Betsi Cadwaladr, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Aneurin Bevan University Health Boards.
The funding will replace ageing equipment, improve working environments and increase the amount of work that laundry teams can do.”
Mr Jeff Chard, linen service manager, who has worked in the laundry for 39 years accompanied Mr Gething on the tour of the laundry facilities.
Each year, Cwm Taf laundry serves approximately 1,500 beds and launders 5.2 million items, uses 48 million litres of water which is enough to fill 19 Olympic sized swimming pools and uses 680,000kWh of electricity, which is enough to supply almost 150 average sized UK homes.
Anthony Hayward, assistant director of facilities at the health board said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this investment.
“The new tumble dryers will increase the quality of our service, increase productivity throughput and reduce the tangling of sheets thus improving working conditions for our staff.”