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Healthcare Associated Infections

Safe Management of Linen

NHS Education for Scotland in collaboration with Health Protection Scotland have developed a resources outlining the safe management of linen in the healthcare environment which align with the NHSScotland National Infection Prevention Manual.

These resource are part of the foundation layer of the Scottish Infection Prevention and Control Education Pathway.  Further information about the pathway is available on the pathway webpage.

Safe Management of Linen - Getting it Right

In the healthcare setting, linen can harbour potential pathogens that could result in risk to those that handle linen.  Also extraneous items can be found in linen at NHS laundry premises which could cause risk to staff who have handled, transported and/or sorted the linen for the laundry process.  Extraneous items in the laundry bags can also damage the washer disinfectors, tumbler dryers and pressing machines increasing the cost to NHS boards and delaying the throughput of linen.

The aim of this video is ensure safe and consistent practice within NHSScotland in the handling, segregation and processing of hospital laundry in line with national guidance on the decontamination of linen and the Standard Infection Control Precautions which cover safe management of linen at ward level.

Duration: 13 minutes, 24 seconds

Target audience
All healthcare staff who handle, segregate and process hospital laundry.

Key content

  • Remove linen safely from patient’s bed?
  • Outline categories of linen processed by NHSScotland
  • The infection prevention and control measures required at all stages of the laundering process including transport and storage
  • Challenges and hazards faced by portering staff when handling laundry bags
  • Extraneous items found in laundry bags that could result in an injury to staff

Resource launched 2015. Due for review 2017.

Disposal of linen unfit for re-use

Disposal of linen pdf document

Target Audience

All healthcare staff who handle, segregated process hospital laundry.


Raise awarness of the need to return all linen unfit for re-use to laundry for disposal.

This brief 2-page resource can be used in various ways, eg in toolbox talks as a handout, teaching aid, etc.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss these resources with the HAI team, please contact Sarah Freeman.

Resource launched July 2019.