Kim Hames: “Paper linen will not be routinely used on general wards”

Kim Hames: “Paper linen will not be routinely used on general wards”

Against the backdrop of recent News Limited reports, which said that paper bed sheets would substitute linen at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital (SCGH), Health Minister Kim Hames clarified the use of paper linen was being mulled by WA Health largely for procedural areas, and not on the beds of patients' wards.

Downplaying the News Limited reports, Hames said that the under-consideration move to introduce paper linen for procedural areas, like radiology, was largely based on the fact that there was potential for limited use of paper linen for these areas.

Stating that it was a reasonable decision on the part of the hospitals to look into an array of different care options and cost savings, Hames further added that the Director General of the hospital had clearly stated that paper linen "will not be routinely used on general wards."

In fact, Hames was told that paper linen is already being used by WA Health in a limited capacity; and that a few of the WA hospitals spread paper linen sheets on operating tables depending on what kind of surgery is being performed.

According to a confirmation by a spokesperson for Hames, SCGH was thinking of extending the use of disposable linen to procedural areas. Revealing that a cost-benefit analysis towards that end was already underway, the spokesperson said: "A small working group has been tasked to investigate broad use of paper linen, including bed sheets and gowns."

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