Public offered reassurance over discovery of legionella in Scunthorpe General Hospitals A&E Unit

Scunthorpe Telegraph have reported that,

health bosses have moved to reassure patients after the discovery of legionella bacteria in water in the A&E department at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

The bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease – an uncommon form of pneumonia, but the amount discovered has been described as low and as not posing a risk to patients.

Nobody has contracted the disease as a result of this case.

One cubicle in the department has been closed off while maintenance officials flush it out of the system.

Action plan agreed to tackle issues at ‘inadequate’ Scunthorpe General Hospital 

Legionella bacteria can live in all types of water and only become a risk to health when the temperature of the water allows it to grow rapidly, usually in water systems that are not properly designed, installed or maintained, according to Public Health England.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said they discovered it while carrying out a refurb of the unit following the recent Care Quality Commission inspection.

She said: “Whenever we do any upgrade we would test a sample of water. The results were positive for Legionella bacteria. It’s a very low risk count, which in many ways is very normal.

“We will still go through the process of flushing and removing the area from use while we do that. It’s a really thorough process.

“There’s a period of time where the room is out of use – about two weeks.

“There has been no impact on patients whatsoever.”

She added this action would be taken anywhere else in the hospital.

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