Inadequate Legionella Training
Following the death of an elderly man from exposure to legionella at a care home, it’s time to ask the question, is Legionella training up to scratch?
After a stay in hospital to receive treatment for a broken leg, Lewis Payne, 95, had arrived at the Reading Borough Council-operated care facility, The Willows, for a period of intermediate care before returning to his own home. During his stay he became ill, suffering from aches and pains including tightness of the chest, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. He also complained of feeling nauseous.
On being re-admitted to hospital on October 16, 2012, Mr Payne was tested for the presence of legionella, receiving a positive result. Despite receiving treatment for Legionnaires’ Disease he died on November 1, 2012, from legionella-related pneumonia.
Following an investigation, Reading Borough Council was fined on the basis that legionella training for key personnel at The Willows was significantly below the standard required. Temperature checks that had been performed were inadequate and some of those done with respect to thermostatic mixer valves were done incorrectly. Showers were not being descaled and disinfected on a quarterly basis as required and the flushing of infrequently-used outlets was dependent on one member of staff, with no procedure in place for this to be done in the absence of this individual.
This should be a powerful reminder of the importance of proper Legionella control. Those in charge of the control and maintenance of water systems should all undergo quality training. Deaths like these are so easily preventable when the right measures are put in place.
On average one person dies EVERY DAY from Legionnaires’ disease, and we are so committed to reducing this number that we offer free Legionella training to all of our customers, because we truly care about what we do. Are your systems properly and safely controlled?
We are also currently working on our FREE online Legionella awareness training modules which we hope to have live by the end of June 2016. If you would like to be notified when this FREE training is available, then please sign up below:
click here to see our blog post on how you can manage systems, and which are at risk.
And please call or email us for any advice on legionella control.
Read the full article by Heating and Plumbing Monthly here