Care home providers have been warned to take precautions against Legionella after research revealed disease hotspots across the country.
Head of the Legionella Awarenesss Day campaign and Legionella consultant at HydroChem UK, Paul Abbott urged care home providers to properly assess the risks posed by the disease.
Paul said: “Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, care home management has a duty to seriously consider the risk that the Legionella bacteria poses to residents in their care. It is important that all risks are properly assessed and suitable precautions taken.
“This includes ensuring that all key personnel partake in thorough Legionella prevention training that meets the required standard, and the premises undergoes regular risk assessments to determine any hazards and understand how to address them.”
The complex water systems that supply bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and other on-site facilities in care homes, means they are especially high-risk environments for the bacteria.
HydroChem research revealed 163 cases of Legionella in Greater London over the last three years, with 61 cases in Greater Manchester and 44 in Nottinghamshire.
Figures from Public Health England show that in 2014, 85% of confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease affected the over 50s with the mortality rate being one in 10 people. Over 1,300 cases of the disease have been reported in the UK in the last three years.