Guidance will boost real nappy users

A guidebook for healthcare professionals outlining the case for real nappies and advice for professional laundry services have been launched in an effort to reduce the mountains of waste produced by disposable nappies.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published a Best Practice Hospital Guide and the new Publicly Available Specification (PAS106) for real nappy laundries to provide professionals with a variety of advice and information.

The Hospital Best Practice Guide has been designed to provide step by step guidance for maternity hospitals, healthcare professionals and local authorities. It is aimed at helping to promote the use of real nappies on maternity wards and promote general awareness of real nappies to parents.

A survey conducted on behalf of WRAP in March 2006 found that nappy use is established within the first 11 days of birth, so creating this avenue of information for parents is key to enabling them to make an informed decision as early as possible.

The guide uses information from questionnaires sent out to over 300 maternity hospitals in the UK to illustrate circumstances in which using real nappies on maternity wards is feasible and directs users to the Real Nappy Campaign website to download awareness material for use in hospital maternity wards.

The creation of the PAS106 outlines a code of practice for professional laundry services which uses the experiences of well-established services to advise on the most resource-efficient and effective way to clean nappies.

Accroding to WRAP the nappy-washing specification should be used as guidance alongside the Department of Health Hygiene Specification Guidelines (95) 18 which are developed purely for washing hospital linen.

If all laundries adopted the PAS106 guidelines and used the same washing techniques and methods of transportation customers would receive a consistently high level of service and would be more likely to opt for reusable nappies.

The creation of the standard also saves money and avoids unnecessary duplication of effort for the laundries.

WRAP's Deirdre Dudley-Owen, said: "The PAS106 and the Hospital Best Practice Guide could not have been put together without the input of professionals in the laundries and the hospitals.

"These documents are available free of charge from the real nappy campaign website and we are sure that they will provide informative and practical guidance for those practitioners keen to learn more about real nappy use."

David Gibbs




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