Measures in place to deal with Legionella in Barra hospital’s water system

Specialist contractors have been called to St Brendan’s Hospital and Care Home in Castlebay to treat the facility’s water system.

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 3:28 pm
St Brendan’s Hospital and Care Home where the water system was found to be contaminated with Legionella.

Routine testing showed elevated levels of legionella contamination, NHS Western Isles (NHSWI) has confirmed.

Legionella is the bacteria that can potentially cause the pneumonia-like illness, Legionnaire’s disease, but an NHSWI spokesperson said that the risk of anyone contracting the disease was “extremely low”, and that “robust measures” have now been implemented to deal with the contamination.

The spokesperson also confirmed that there are currently no patients in the hospital, and said that the contamination was “not uncommon” across the country, and that NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Departments of Estates, Public Health and Infection Prevention and Control were “well versed” in managing such events.

“All necessary immediate actions have been taken, including the provision of bottled water and alternative measures for washing,” added the spokesperson. “System disinfection has been completed by specialist contractors.

“Some point of use filters were fitted to outlets as an additional precaution.

“Following this, further tests will be taken to confirm whether any further actions are required.

“These findings do not stop patient or resident care or prevent transfer of patients from hospital to home or to care home, although additional precautions are in place to reduce exposure to aerosolised water.”