The minor injuries unit at Totnes Community Hospital has reopened.
The unit, which is run by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, was closed for 24 hours following the discovery of legionella bacteria in some taps and showers on the hospital site.
While no legionella was detected within the MIU area itself, the unit needed to temporarily close as it uses a lot of water and the entire site’s water system was being disinfected. This disinfection has now been completed.
The hospital’s MIU is open seven days a week from 8am–8pm.
Regular routine testing for legionella is undertaken on all trust sites. However, the trust will carry out additional tests at the hospital as an extra precaution over the coming weeks to monitor the situation.
Dr Selina Hoque, director of infection prevention and control at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We carry out regular testing of all our estate buildings, and closed the minor injuries unit at Totnes Community Hospital as a precautionary measure.
“Our staff and contractors have worked incredibly hard over the past 24 hours and we’re pleased that we are able to re-open the unit today, as planned.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure, but protecting people’s health and safety was our first consideration.”
Selina added: “The Trust’s swift actions will prevent the possibility of infection. However, anyone who has a compromised immune system or is pregnant and develops a cough/fever above 38 degrees after a recent attendance at Totnes Community Hospital should seek advice from their GP - there is a urine test for Legionella that can be undertaken, performed at Torbay Hospital, and should Legionella be detected, it can be treated with antibiotics.”
People with a compromised immune system include:
people taking high dose steroids;
people receiving chemotherapy;
people receiving injections for rheumatological illnesses.