Although Legionella is a common occurrence in the environment, UnitingCare Health Chief Operating Officer Terence Seymour has reiterated The Wesley Hospital has a water management regime which is continuing to reduce the associated risk.
In September 2013 the Chief Health Officer released a report
which indicated that legionella is a common occurrence and it is not possible to eliminate it completely from the environment. This report also includes details about the rates of positive test results in the industry.
Visit Qld Health to view the report.
Mr Seymour said: “We are pleased to report that following the implementation of best practice control measures implemented in 2013, the detection rate of legionella pneumophila at The Wesley Hospital fell from 40.2 per 1,000 water samples to 0.5 per 1,000 water samples in 2015. The hospital conducts more than 100 water sample and ice machine tests each month to ensure that the water quality is maintained.
To clarify the earlier statement made on New Year’s Day, in 2014 there were a total of four reportable positive tests for legionella pneumophila in water samples. No positive results for Legionella pneumophila in water samples had been received in 2015 until the one ice machine result received on 31 December.
All reportable results of Legionella pneumophila and other organisms including non-pneumophila legionella strains in water samples have been reported to Queensland Health promptly in accordance with guidelines and remedial actions undertaken immediately to ensure patient and staff safety.
Actions that are taken following a positive result vary according to the location but include an extensive range of cleaning protocols as per Queensland Health guidelines.
Mr Seymour said: “It should also be reiterated that the 2013 report confirmed The Wesley Hospital complied with its obligations and ‘responded promptly and comprehensively to the notification of positive results in two of its patients thereby minimizing risk to other patients in their hospital
For more information read our Legionella information.