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Winterhalter reveals the remedy for getting hospital kitchens back on the mend

Winterhalter engineer checks van stock

Van stock and the ingenuity of engineers – that’s the criteria for rapid first-time fix rates in the healthcare sector during the Covid-19 crisis, according to Winterhalter.

Barry Spicer, service manager at the warewashing equipment firm, says that tending to service call-outs throughout the pandemic requires not only a timely response, but the need to find a time that’s convenient to the site in order to minimise disruption and comply with social distancing.

However, that hasn’t prevented it from getting the job done.

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“We’re achieving a high first-time fix rate, with nearly all healthcare call-outs completed within 24 hours,” he said.

“Crucial to achieving that is the expertise and ingenuity of engineers, plus van stock – having the right spares and tools for the job.”

Despite the pressure on the healthcare sector, Spicer says that call volumes are generally lower compared to normal.

“Obviously they are extra cautious about bringing in outside contractors,” he pointed out. “However, they are reassured once they know that our engineers are trained in areas such as social distancing, and that they will attend site with full PPE, from foot covers and overalls to gloves, goggles and face masks.”

Typical of the calls that are being logged is Oswestry Hospital, where the final rinse element on a warewasher had developed a fault, so the temperature was too low.

A Winterhalter engineer was on site within hours and fixed the issue.

“Temperature is vital when it comes to infection control. We had a similar issue at Stepping Hill Hospital, where a machine was not holding temperature. Again, thanks to having the right parts and the right expertise, the engineer was able to fix the issue quickly.”

Shortly afterwards the same site called after an accident resulted in a dishwasher’s operating screen being smashed.

“The engineer was able to replace the screen there and then, from van stock, which meant the dishwasher was up and running straight away when it might have been out of action for several days,” said Mr Spicer.

Having the right stock on the vans is critical when it comes to first-time fix rates.

“We attended a site for Spiral Healthcare where a third party had been called previously but had been unable to do anything due to lack of parts.  It was a complicated job, but our guy managed a first-time fix, using van stock, within four hours.”

Over the past 18 months Winterhalter has invested heavily in developing a new approach to servicing warewashers.

“Specialist engineers, rapid speed of response and high first time fix rates are key parts of the strategy – and this approach has proved hugely valuable during the lockdown,” insisted Mr Spicer.

PPE protocols, temperature checks and wiping down tablets – the new daily rituals of those fixing hospital kitchens during Covid-19

Tags : NHSserviceWarewashingWinterhalter
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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