Health Centre Closure Highlights Legionella Risks

A health centre has had to relocate to a temporary building after dangerous levels of legionella bacteria was found in its water supply. The health centre, which is located in Amersham, Buckinghamshire has been evacuated and will operate from its new accommodation for between eight and twelve weeks while remedial actions are undertaken.

Elderly patients are more vulnerable to Legionellosis.

An Important Reminder

This case is an important reminder of the importance of effective legionella control, especially in a healthcare environment. Health centres are visited by some of the most vulnerable people in society, often while they are unwell, making them especially susceptible to diseases such as legionella. As such, hazardous levels of legionella bacteria in healthcare environments pose a tremendous threat to public health.

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Not only does legionella bacteria pose a risk to the health of the visitors to the centre, but it also poses a legal and financial risk to the NHS trust and its directors. In this case, routine sampling discovered the bacteria before it had the chance to infect anyone and thankfully, no one was harmed. However, the erection of the temporary facility in the car park of the health centre is a large and avoidable cost that could have been mitigated with effective legionella control.

In order to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria in a water system, it’s important to follow the correct procedure. In a healthcare environment, that would mean working to a water safety plan as stipulated in HTM04-01.

If you need support managing your water-based responsibilities, we can help. From legionella control to closed systems care, we have you covered.