Last year at Whanganui DHB we identified the same problem that you are having Julie. We too send our slings to Allied laundry. Due to slings not being labelled properly we often did not have them returned. Overall we had a shortage in each ward and at the time slings were a departmental purchase and ownership.
We decided to purchase more slings that were labelled specifically “Whanganui” and not “WDHB” as in the past. We also made them an organisational item vs departmental.
Secondly we liaised with our local Allied laundry workers and have them on board as part of the sling allocation team.
I worked with ward nurses to identify exactly how many slings of each size they would need at any given time and now have the Allied laundry staff ensure that their is always a specific number of slings in each area.
I’m assuming they do this when they deliver clean laundry to the wards first thing in the morning.
It has been working very well and I have been really happy with the outcome.
Hope this helps.