Wednesday 04 December 2013
Legionella has been found on Albecq Ward during routine water testing as part of HSSD's legionella control programme. The Health and Social Services Department has put a remedial plan into action straight away, in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive.
Showers on the ward were taken out of action on Monday night, allowing the Estates Department to raise water temperatures on Tuesday, before flushing through the entire Castel Hospital site on Wednesday 4 December.
While the showers are temporarily out of action, the bathing facilities available to people on Albecq Ward have reduced. This is being managed carefully by staff to ensure that patients' hygiene and dignity are not compromised.
There is also some staff accommodation on the Castel Hospital site which will be affected by the precautions. HSSD has written to all staff advising them of the situation, and offering support from the Occupational Health Department and the Infection Prevention and Control team, should anyone have any concerns.
Legionella can result in Legionnaires' Disease, an unpleasant, flu-like illness. People who are immuno-suppressed (for example, people who have had an organ transplant or are receiving treatment for some chronic diseases) may be more at risk.
HSSD's mental health staff are carrying out risk assessments to identify any patients on Albecq Ward who may be particularly at risk, and will take appropriate action. Staff living in residential accommodation on the Castel Hospital site are being asked to self-report to Occupational Health if they think they may be at a higher risk.
Once the site has been flushed through, the water will need to be treated with chlorine dioxide and re-sampled to check the amount of legionella. When this has reduced to an acceptable level, all patients and staff at the Castel Hospital will be notified, and the shower facilities on Albecq Ward will be reopened at once.