Brand new super mops have been introduced in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh to step up the battle against healthcare associated infections.
Cleaners in the hospital have abandoned the traditional mop and bucket in favour of the revolutionary new cleaning tool, which harnesses the power of nature.
Microfibre super-mops are being infused with a natural, powerful disinfectant Ozone, which is 3,200 times more effective than chlorine bleach.
Ozone occurs naturally during thunderstorms when lightning changes the make-up of oxygen and has been proven to wipe out healthcare associated infections, such as C-diff and MRSA.
Special washing machines have been developed to recreate the process and a new bespoke laundry room has now been built at the RIE to help blitz germs and bugs in corridors, patient areas and wards.
The hospital is one of the first in Scotland to introduce the mop laundry which operates round the clock, seven days a week and will clean around 38,000 mop heads each year.
Balfour Beatty Workplace, which delivers the hospital’s domestic services said they were more effective than traditional methods.
Charles Neilson, soft services manager, Balfour Beatty Workplace, said: “The mops and laundry service are like a match made in heaven. They are more effective than any chemical solution, which makes it better for patients, the staff and the environment.
“Our domestic staff no longer have to carry around a bucket full of water either. They simply have a tray of mop heads which they change at regular intervals and then place in the laundry to be disinfected.”
The revolutionary OTEX system relies on special washers which use an
oxygen concentrator to take in air and convert it to 90% pure oxygen.
The air we breathe is made up of two atoms paired together, but the washing machine separates them and reassembles them into groups of three. This process creates ozone, an environmentally-friendly gas.
The clever machine then makes the ozone soluble by defusing it into the cold water in the drum. The used ozone the quickly reverts back to oxygen.
The mop heads, which are 100 per cent free of bacteria, are then removed and dried, ready for use.
They are distributed around the hospital each day and every mop head is soaked in water until damp. Each mop can be used to clean 10 square metres before it is removed and replaced to prevent the risk of cross-contamination.
Hot water and chemicals are still used in many hospitals, but the new system uses only cold water, making it more environmentally friendly.
John Jack, Director of Facilities, NHS Lothian, said: “This new technology is a real breakthrough and we are glad that the RIE is one of the first to introduce the full system.
“It has real benefits for patients, staff and the environment and will help to enhance cleanliness levels throughout the hospital.”
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