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Free cleaning robots for care homes

The Perfect Little Company (TPLC) has successfully secured funding from Innovate UK to improve the social distancing measures in the cleaning process, and to test the effectiveness of robotic cleaning solutions in reducing pathogens, in care homes.

TPLC, an Oxfordshire based business, is the UK’s leading provider of commercial cleaning robots with more than 2,000 robots deployed across various industries. Traditionally the robots (called Abbee) have been used to vacuum large offices, schools etc. but with the support of Innovate UK, a trial can now be undertaken in care homes to evaluate if pathogens are reduced by using robots for sanitisation purposes.

The funding was approved because of the vulnerability of many care home residents and unfortunate higher rates of infection. Assisting the cleaning teams with sanitisation and robotic vacuuming will minimise human contact in potentially infected communal areas as well as relieving some pressure off their stretched cleaning teams – who now have many additional sanitising tasks during this time.

The trial is approved for 20 care homes (and will include 2 GP surgeries) and TPLC will be approaching eligible homes in the coming weeks.

As part of this project, TPLC also teamed up with Residual Barrier Technology (RBT) and will also be delivering 5 litres of their revolutionary residual barrier solution. RBT is the only company in the world that has developed a disinfectant solution with 3 levels of protection. Not only is it less harmful to humans, it also provides 99.999% effectiveness, and up to 24 hours of residual protection.

So, does TPLC robotic cleaning solution help to reduce infection? Cleaning robots reduce the spread of Coronavirus in two ways: enabling social distancing and allowing less human involvement in the vacuuming process, and sanitising the floors using the RBT disinfectant solution. The Coronavirus can spread from person to person, so using something as simple as a robot to vacuum will certainly minimise human contact. More and more organisations are looking to invest in, and use, automation technology to ensure their staff and clients are protected as much as possible. Robotic commercial vacuums can cover cleaning teams who are sick, isolating or to simply keep them safe. No social distancing measures are needed when vacuuming and the robots do not mind a night shift.

During these uncertain times care homes have no choice but to remain operational which means they still need to be cleaned. Cleaners often circulate more than most people within a building, meaning they are naturally more at risk themselves, and of spreading the virus to vulnerable residents. Using robots will undoubtably work towards keeping them and residents alike safer.

TPLC will be providing pathogen test machines and each home will be asked to test specific areas in their home before, during and after using the robots. TPLC is expecting the results to be of significant interest and may well change how high-risk areas will be cleaned in the future.

In response to the pandemic, TPLC has also created a virtual training programme. All care homes will be given a tablet which will be loaded with easy to watch training videos meaning that TPLC staff will not need any access to the care home.

TPLC’s Abbee robots already operate successfully in several care homes including the largescale St Monica Trust retirement village in Bristol.

Karen Hedderwick, Catering and Housekeeping Team Leader for St Monica commented: “Our residents’ safety is incredibly important to us. The Abbees help us to vacuum a large area to a high standard during the quietest times within the home.”

Michael Richardson, CEO of TPLC said: “Clearly, the virus outbreak has put a renewed urgency behind the trend towards increased automation and use of robots within commercial cleaning sector. We’ve seen an upturn in requests, but we also felt it was important to offer our services complimentary to those in most need. Thanks to Innovate UK, this has been made possible. We hope this initiative will help towards slowing the spread of Coronavirus.”

Any care homes or health centres wishing to be part of the trial should contact us via tplc.uk/carehome-application for criteria and how to apply.



About Sarah OBeirne

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