Alliance aims to improve infection control and care home safety

A new strategic business alliance has been formed that aims to improve infection control, general cleaning and care home safety within this rapidly growing sector.

The alliance, between Shackletons Furniture, the leading supplier of high quality contract furniture to the private / public Healthcare Sector, and Proventec Healthcare, the provider of specialist steam cleaning decontamination equipment and a validated range of infection prevention consumables into the NHS, at last addresses the very real concerns about hygiene, infection control and general cleaning of equipment, furniture and furnishings.

Coming so soon after the publication of the Department of Health’s Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance. The new strategic alliance is one of the first to address the issue in terms of bringing together experiences from both sectors.

One of the major concerns for care home proprietors is how to maintain hygienic conditions without also degrading furniture coverings or affecting the required fire retardancy.

Cleansing any surface using powerful chemicals very often causes hastened fading and rapid wear. This is certainly true with upholstered furniture and soft furnishings, both cotton and synthetic fibres can be affected, the result usually being more frequent changeover of furniture. However tests carried out using Proventec’s steam decontamination technology developed through its subsidiary OspreyDeepclean, show that there is very little if any degradation; not only is everyday hygiene improved and the potential for infection cross-contamination reduced, but fabrics and furniture also last and look good for longer and the all-important fire retardency is unaffected.

The two-year alliance will also see a continuous product development programme initiated to design and develop a range of easy care furniture specifically intended for steam cleaning and general maintenance. This has initially seen the launch of a DUO collection of chairs which combines the elegance of fabric and the durability of faux leather.

Speaking of the strategic alliance, Thomas Stuecken, Chief Commercial Officer of Proventec, said: “We are delighted to be working with Shackletons Furniture, as despite our activities being on the face of it very different, there exist many synergies between us. We both operate at the high end of the market; we have both won prestigious awards; there are significant crossover opportunities, and we each have ambitious plans for future growth in the healthcare markets.

“Proventec Healthcare sees this alliance as the critical next step for further growth and comes at a time when infection prevention and control is coming to the top of the care homes agenda, replicating the NHS where we are now one of the major players in developing new technologies.”

Jason Bloom, National Sales Manager, said: “As we all know, maintaining the appearance of furniture and furnishings whilst preventing infections within care environments, is both difficult and very time consuming for staff. At Shackletons, and for some time, have been seeking a solution to offer and assist our customers whilst increasing both the longevity and long term appearance of our furniture.

“We are delighted to have formed this alliance with Proventec Healthcare. During our initial discussions, it was apparent that they were a very progressive company and as passionate about infection prevention and control, as we are about furniture and furnishings. We are both looking forward to a very successful partnership and one that we are sure will be well received throughout the care sector.”