Interior Health outsources laundry services

“A clear case exists to proceed with outsourcing laundry services at our major facilities..."

  • Mar. 1, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Interior Health’s Board of Directors announced today that the health authority has reached a 20-year agreement with Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service Inc. to provide the majority of linen and laundry services through a centralized Kelowna-based facility, supported by regional distribution centres.

“A clear case exists to proceed with outsourcing laundry services at our major facilities,” said Board Chair Erwin Malzer, in a press release.

“With an anticipated savings of about $35 million over the life of the contract we will be able to increase our investment in facilities and equipment to support direct patient care, including necessary upgrades and expansions of our emergency departments and operating rooms.”

The following Interior Health facilities where laundry services are currently provided will be affected: Kelowna General Hospital, Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson, Penticton Regional Hospital, Vernon Jubilee Hospital, and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. A total of 93 full-time equivalent positions will be impacted by the decision. Interior Health will work closely with the affected employees and the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) to ensure a smooth transition of the service to Ecotex by Summer 2017.

Ecotex is an experienced British Columbia based laundry service company and has provided laundry and laundry services for Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health, Provincial Health Services, and Providence Health Care among other clients.

“Interior Health laundry employees have delivered high quality service to our patients for many years, and I understand they may feel disappointed with this decision,” said Malzer.  “While there will be job displacement within our sites, we believe the commitment by Ecotex to build a facility in the Southern Interior and hire residents from our region will offset some of the impact felt. We will also work with the HEU to support laundry employees as they consider options for the future, whether that is through accessing vacancies or retraining.”

It is anticipated that the carbon footprint of the service will be minimally impacted. Increased freight will be largely offset by a consolidated, more energy-efficient centralized facility. For example, reducing the demand to produce and expand steam capability at the five major Interior Health laundry sites in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Nelson will positively impact the carbon footprint.

On-premise, small laundry sites in Interior Health facilities in Ashcroft, Lillooet, Golden, Princeton, 100 Mile House, and Williams Lake are not part of the agreement, and will continue to be operated by Interior Health with IH employees.

Just Posted

RCMP hunt for suspect in West Kelowna bank robbery

Suspect used a note and fled bank Saturday with an undisclosed amount of cash

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

International Arts Festival returns to Kelowna

Living Things is a month-long festival with live performances by artists from around the world

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Kelowna Art Gallery members’ exhibition offers variety of media

Encounters will be held from Dec. 2 to Feb. 3

Vehicle with dog inside stolen from Oliver gas station

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

PIGS bring Pink Floyd sound to Kelowna

Victoria band pays tribute to iconic British band on Feb. 10 at Mary Irwin Theatre

Letter: Another flagger dies; when will you slow down?

You have all seen our signs, trucks and my favorite our cones. Why don’t you slow down?

Kelowna-developed technology to be unveiled at Summerhill

Kelowna winery and tech company introduces new technology for phone or tablet

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

Most Read