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Legionella detected in water at Invergordon County Hospital, NHS Highland confirms

By Iona M.J. MacDonald

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Invergordon County Hospital. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Invergordon County Hospital. Picture: Gary Anthony.

NHS Highland has confirmed that low levels of legionella were detected in water supplies at Invergordon County Hospital in January.

After finding low levels of legionella, NHS Highlands states it immediately put in safety measures to 'prevent harm to patients and staff'.

According to Health and Safety Executive, legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires' disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever.

NHS Highland also claims that there has not been any outbreak of respiratory infections at the Easter Ross hospital.

A spokesperson for NHS Highland said: "As part of our regular and routine testing of bacterial presence in water supplies within NHS Highland facilities, a limited number of samples tested positive in December within Invergordon County Hospital. Legionella was not detected at that time. In December we put in place measures to ensure safe water was supplied to patients and staff including bottled water.

"NHS Highland takes all unexpected or abnormal results very seriously. We continued to put infection control measures in place and then carried out follow up testing in January, which showed low levels of legionella species. Additional measures were then put in place immediately.

"Safety measures have been established extremely quickly to prevent harm to patients and staff, however the remedial work can take some time. During this period the safety measures in place will be monitored very closely.

"We can confirm that there has not been any outbreak of respiratory infections in Invergordon County Hospital during this period."

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