An initiative of the Linen Services team at Wimmera Health Care Group has helped bolster supplies during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Linen Services manager Jocelyn Ballinger said her team members came up with an idea to increase the number of barrier gowns the team had on standby.

“Barrier gowns are an important piece of personal protective equipment and as we know, supplies for PPE have been tight all over the world due to the pandemic,” Mrs Ballinger said.

“We had some excess sheets that weren’t being used and some of our brilliant team made a pattern and began sewing them into washable and reusable barrier gowns,” she said.

“We have a sewing room setup at WHCG because we often mend items, so now they are keeping very busy making the gowns.

“In just two weeks the team has made 450 gowns.”

Mrs Ballinger said the department had experienced a downturn in its usual work.

“We service a large portion of the region’s tourism operators by washing their linen and that workload has decreased dramatically,” she said.

“So not only is this initiative helping team members diversify their workload, it is also increasing the amount of PPE available to WHCG.”

WHCG Infection Control co-ordinator Rachel Baker said she was impressed with the linen team’s efforts.

“We are so proud of their initiative to come up with the idea and their thoughtfulness for their fellow team members. It really is great,” Mrs Baker said.

“Our plan is to use the gowns for everyday precaution patients, such as gastro and then we will have the ability to save the disposable gowns for Covid-19 patients if we see a spike in numbers.”

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