Linen services staff

Linen services staff are the hidden heroes of the NHS. They make sure that hospital departments have stocks of clean uniforms and linen, such as sheets and towels, for patients.

Working life

Clean linen is an important part of healthcare. It has to be cleaned correctly to reduce the spread of infection.

linen in basket

There are various roles within linen services.

As a linen services assistant, you may:

Some linen services staff also use a sewing machine to:

In some hospitals, where there is a laundry on site, linen services staff:

If you are a linen services supervisor or team leader, you will oversee the work of a team of linen services assistants.

As a linen services manager, you make sure that laundry services meet quality standards. You'll have other management tasks such as:

Where will I work?

Linen services staff also work in residential and care homes and in companies supplying linen services to the NHS. Linen services assistants based in hospitals may have some contact with patients. Managers and staff working in off-site laundries have little or no contact with patients.

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements for linen services assistants. Employers expect a good standard of numeracy and literacy. They may ask for GCSEs in English and maths. Employers may also ask for relevant qualifications such as an NVQ in hotel services or health care.

Employers may ask for some experience of linen or laundry work or healthcare which could be from paid or voluntary work.

Team leaders and managers have usually worked in linen services, either within the NHS or elsewhere.

Skills needed

Linen services staff need to be:

You'll also neeed

Training and development

When you start work as a linen services assistant you will get the training you need. This includes an introduction to the department and its systems and equipment as well as health and safety and manual handling.

You may be offered the opportunity to take qualifications which may include apprenticeships.

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