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Water quality at Jersey General Hospital (FOI)

Water quality at Jersey General Hospital (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 31 October 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



How is water quality tested at the hospital? 


What is the reason for the water to fail quality tests? 


How many times have the water tests come back showing the water is unsafe to use? Please break this down every year over the past 10 years, starting from 2013 and including results so far for 2023. 


For each year listed in question C, please list which hospital services were impacted due to the water quality showing unsafe and how long for? 


What plumbing work has been done at the hospital over the past 10 years, and how has this impacted water tests? 


How many water births have there been at Jersey's General Hospital over the past 10 years, please break this down per year.


How many water birthing pools have been available and in use at Jersey's General Hospital over the past 10 years, please break this down per year.. Please state if the pool has been an inflatable one or plumbed in. 


Please confirm current water birth pool availability at the hospital and future plans for the maternity department. 


Please confirm what work is being done to improve water quality at Jersey's General Hospital and when this should be finished by.



An external specialist is contracted to collect water samples across the site. These samples are then transported to a specialist microbiological laboratory who undertake analysis on the water samples.


When levels of microorganism in the water reach a level determined by the parameters in Health and Community Services’ (HCS’) Water Safety Plan, this would be considered to fail the quality test.


The table below shows the requested information on water test results per year, from 2018 through to September 2023. Data is not available in a central record prior to 2018.

YearNumber of tests


For each instance recorded in the table above, the circumstances and duration of impact is individual, with different outcomes and actions required as appropriate to the situation. In each instance, a risk assessment is undertaken to determine the necessary actions to redress. It is estimated that the time necessary to identify and extract the data to produce an itemised list of the particular amenity, location and duration of impact for each case from the records that are available would exceed the timescales prescribed in the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014. Therefore, Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 has been applied.

A précis of the amenities affected, their location, and the year of impact is provided below:

  • 2018 Clinical wash hand basin affected in Renal Unit, Eye Clinic, Day Surgery Unit, GP Co-op, Pathology departments.
  • 2019 Clinical wash hand basin affected in Renal Unit, Eye Clinic, Day Surgery Unit, GP Co-op departments.
  • 2020 Clinical wash hand basin affected in Pathology department.
  • 2021 Clinical wash hand basin affected in Renal Unit, GP Co-op, Pathology departments.
  • 2022 Clinical wash hand basin affected in Maternity Unit, Rozel Ward, Renal Unit, Pathology departments. Shower affected in Robin Ward.
  • 2023 Birthing pool affected in Maternity Unit. Clinical wash hand basin affected in AAU, Plemont Ward, Renal Unit, Eye Clinic, Day Surgery Unit, GP Co-op, Ante-Natal Unit, Pathology departments. Shower affected in Robin Ward.

Birthing pools, as determined by HCS’ Water Safety Plan, require a more stringent testing process including TVC testing. Due to disruption of the old system and installation of new pipework, testing and results increased for a period.


In 2015, and then revised in 2019, the Hospital was granted capital investment to manage a portfolio of backlog maintenance issues compiled from a site-wide condition survey. Since 2015 a compilation of improvement projects, such as full ward refurbishments that included plumbing modifications, were delivered across Maternity Unit, Plemont Ward, Sorel Ward, Oncology Unit and ITU (Intensive Treatment Unit). Water tank replacements and planned preventative maintenance to the remaining hospital areas, that is aligned to HCS’ Water Safety Policy, is undertaken as standard practice. As with any buildings of age, testing and rectification to any known issues is an ongoing task for maintenance teams.


The table below shows the number of births each year where a birthing pool was recorded as being used for the previous 10 complete years. This includes where the birthing pool is recorded as the actual place of delivery and / or if it was used for pain relief through labour. All births have been included in the count.

YearPool used

Data Source: Hospital Patient Administration System (TrakCare, Maternity Activity Report MAT23A)

G and H

One birthing pool is available in the Maternity Unit. A second plumbed pool will be introduced when the Maternity Unit is renovated.

An inflatable pool is available for home births.


Work is continually ongoing to improve water quality throughout the General Hospital, as per the response to Question E.

Article applied

Article 16 - A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations. 

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