THE UKHA now has new COVID-19 Secure Housekeeping Standards, designed for teams across the UK, regardless of the size and type of the establishment.
Members can download it in toolkit form from the UKHA website. Launched at a well-attended webinar in partnership with Umbrella Training, its production has been a ‘labour of love’ for a working party which involved leading names from the sector, including The Royal Household, The Landmark Hotel, The Royal Lancaster Hotel, Dukes Hotel, The Strand Palace Hotel, PPHE Hotel Group and The Georgian House Hotel. They consulted with other top industry experts to produce a set of standards, controls and training advice in line with government guidelines.
The webinar was led by Lorraine Dale, UKHA Chair, with Dawn McCormack, director of accommodation, The Landmark London, Sally Beck, general manager, Royal Lancaster London and Adele Oxberry and Jo Simovic from Umbrella Training. Dale stressed that this was not just about conforming to government advice: “It’s all about making sure staff feel safe and that they are coming back into a safe environment.” The online launch provided an insight into the huge amount of work which went on behind the scenes and how the various members of the working party spent many hours on getting it right, with some passionate but friendly arguing along the way.
The toolkit is comprehensive and covers priority areas of focus from cleaning and hygiene of all areas to issues such as the supply chain, budgeting and looking after mental health at a challenging time. Housekeeping teams joining the webinar were impressed that the guide would be comprehensive and ‘off the shelf’, so easy to download. They heard that this is seen very much as a first publication which will evolve and grow to fit changing circumstances and the subsequent needs of housekeepers. Donna Moir, executive housekeeper, and Vera Ferreira, housekeeping supervisor at Fonab Castle Hotel said they couldn’t wait to download the guide and ‘get going again’.
Also impressed was Aurelian Cosereanu, guest services manager at Trump Hotels, Aberdeen, who reminded everyone about the importance of housekeeping as hotels begin to open: “HK is the backbone of any establishment. A guest can leave a review just from the housekeeping of the entrance and ignore all other aspects of the hotel.” At this stage the guide is available to UKHA members only.
Dale stressed the superb value of a membership fee of £35 to join the largest housekeepers’ association in Europe, including advice, support, valuable downloadable resources such as the new toolkit and – when social-distancing rules permit – the many chances to meet up with other members.