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Bacterial contamination found at hospitals

19 July 2012

Evidence of a low virulence strain of legionella has been detected within the Gwyneth Huelin Wing. Other areas of the hospital are not affected.  This presents a very low risk of the order of 1 case per million population per annum based on the England and Wales averages over the last 31 years (0.1 cases / 100,000 Jersey population).  No harmful effect has been noted to date.  All hospital services will continue as usual and patients should keep their appointments.

However, in keeping with guidelines, affected areas will undergo a planned decontamination over the weekend starting late Saturday 21 July through to Sunday 22 July.  This work will not affect the service patients receive.  The area is expected to be back to normal by Monday morning and it is anticipated that no patient appointments will have been cancelled or postponed.

In Queen's House, a facility not used for in-patients for many years, higher concentrations of legionella have been detected in an unused water outlet. As a precautionary measure, Queen's House has been closed 3 months ahead of schedule and no patients have or will be affected. 

Whilst the area has been used as a low level activity centre, staff training area and a dining room, the risk is considered to be very low given that a number of combined factors are needed for the development of legionella pneumonia.  Only a small number of Health and Social Services staff has been using the facility and they have been contacted to make them aware of the situation.


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