Telephone: 0800 320 2037

Email: sales@safewatersolutions.co.uk

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GP Surgeries and Practices

Who is most at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ Disease?

Those people most ‘at risk’ of contracting the disease:

  • Have weakened immune systems, due to age or certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, or are immunosupressed, following organ transplantation, for example
  • Have bronchitic or heart conditions, including asthma
  • Are smokers or have alcohol or drug dependency problems

At some time or another, you will almost certainly have patients visiting the practice who fall into the ‘at risk’ categories for contracting Legionnaires’ Disease.

What checks do I need to perform on the water system(s) at the practice?

Hot and cold water systems must undergo specific checks, which are laid down in the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on the control of legionella in water systems (L8). Particularly important are the tasks relating to flushing infrequently used outlets and monitoring the water temperatures.

What are the legal requirements regarding legionella control?

You are required to comply with the above ACOP. The Code gives practical advice on how to comply with the law but is not in itself primary law.

However, unusually, the Code has a ‘special legal status’, due to the dangerous nature of Legionnaires’ Disease, and can be brought into reference, if you are prosecuted for breach of health and safety law.

Failure to fully comply with the provisions of the Code of Practice, which can be a time consuming and awkward task, is regarded as a serious matter by a Court. The expectation is that the ‘responsible’ person at the practice (usually the practice manager) should be tasked with ensuring compliance.

Apart from the ACOP, you are also required to comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work (HSWA) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Acts.

Is there anything available to assist with ACOP compliance?

Fortunately, you are permitted to use ‘alternative methods’ to ensure your compliance with the ACOP (L8) Code of Practice. Testing on a regular basis, using an accredited laboratory, for the presence of the legionella bacteria in the water system(s) is generally regarded as an acceptable ‘alternative method’. This process is now being used by many GP surgeries around the country, ensuring protection and peace of mind.

PRIMARY MEDICAL SERVICES (GENERAL PRACTITIONERS AND OUT OF HOURS SERVICES) MUST REGISTER WITH THE CARE QUALITY COMMISSION (CQC) AND MAY ALSO BE SUBJECT TO INSPECTION BY PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND (PHE).

PUT YOUR LEGIONELLA TESTING IN PLACE NOW.

We can test most surgeries from only £43.75 plus VAT. Ring us now on Freephone 0800 320 2037 to arrange for a kit to be sent out.