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MP calls meeting with health bosses after Legionella still being found at Peterhead Hospital

By David Porter

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David Duguid MP is to meet with health bosses after it was revealed Legionella bacteria is still being found in the water system at Peterhead Community Hospital – seven months since the first discovery was made.

In a new update given to the Banff and Buchan MP, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership said water tests are to be carried out for another six weeks as some outlets were still demonstrating “abnormal results”.

The Banff and Buchan MP is to be given a tour of the “significant investment” taking place at the health facility, which remains partially closed, following his concerns about the level of health care available in Peterhead.

While the minor injuries unit has now returned to the town after the outbreak, the 17-bed Summers Ward remains closed, forcing patients to travel 20 miles for overnight care in Fraserburgh.

Mr Duguid is also concerned for pregnant women who are still having to make an hour-long journey to Aberdeen or Inverurie if they go into labour as the maternity unit is also closed for work to the water system.

MP David Duguid will meet with health bosses.
MP David Duguid will meet with health bosses.

Following the update, he said: “Meeting health bosses in person will give me the chance to see the progress which is being made at Peterhead Community Hospital and to ask why it is taking so long for these problems to be resolved.

“I appreciate the significant work which is being done to resolve this problematic issue which is causing concern among the Peterhead community who are worried about health provision in the town.

“Seven months on from when the Legionella bacteria was first discovered, I am concerned about the length of time of the closure and the negative impact it is having on patients, particularly the elderly and pregnant women who are being forced to travel elsewhere to be seen.

“From the update given to me, it’s clear bacteria is still being found in some of the supplies which is deeply alarming.

“Peterhead Community Hospital is a vital asset to the town and I hope my visit to the site will give both I and patients some clarity on when we can expect the Summers Ward and Maternity Unit to reopen again.”

The update from Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Remedial works to the pipework at Peterhead Community Hospital have been completed as far as possible and we have now commissioned a series of water tests to be carried out across the hospital site.

“Due to the nature of the testing regime which requires multiple re-tests for accuracy it may take up to six weeks for them to be completed.

“An initial thermal disinfection was carried out in the unit on July 22-23. Water samples were taken over two days on July 31 and August 1; water filters were also changed on those days. Early results have been returned showing the positive impact of the work carried out to date.

“It should be noted sampling results for legionella are not yet available. Some water outlets are still demonstrating abnormal results however, and there is an action plan in place to address this which will be regularly reviewed to ensure the issues are being resolved.”

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