Why are GP Surgeries/Practises Singled Out? - In recent years many GP Surgeries/Practises have fallen foul of the requirements of the Health & Safety Executives Approved Code of Practise for the Control of Legionella commonly known as ACOP L8 and an increasing number have been placed in Special Measures by the Care Quality Commission.
Whilst the risk may be low in developing the bacteria there is an increased risk to the general public because Legionella bacteria has a greater effect on high risk groups which includes the young, the elderly, smokers and people with respiratory issues all of which commonly visit GP Surgeries/Practises. In general terms Medical Practices are in the medium/high risk group for this reason.
There is a common misbelief that GP Surgeries/Practises are only required to manage the risk of Legionella bacteria developing. This is only part of your obligation. You are also required to manage the risk of any bacteria been passed on to employees, patients and the general public.
The Care Quality Commission
The CQC are becoming more and more aware of the issues with Legionella in GP Surgeries/Practises and highlighting failings regarding Legionella in their reports.
Outcome 10 of the essential standards of quality and safety describes what registered providers should be doing to ensure the safety and suitability of premises. Providers must ensure that people who use services and others accessing premises are protected against the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises.
What Action Do We Need to Take? - The CQC will expect that the minimum requirements of the ACOP L8 are in place which includes a valid Legionella Risk Assessment (carried out within the last two years). They will also expect to see the results of annual Legionella Testing carried out by a UKAS Accredited Laboratory and the records of any recommended Legionella Prevention & Control measures.
It is important to note that what may satisify a CQC inspection may not meet all your legal health & safety obligations.
How We Can Help - Our WaterTech Engineers carry out a range of services including Legionella Risk Assessments, UKAS Accredited Legionella Testing, Legionella Control & Prevention and Legionella Awareness Training.
As a Duty Holder or person in charge of premises is it your responsibility to ensure anyone who undertakes work in your property is competent to do so. Our WaterTech engineers are City & Guilds and NVQ qualified, members of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing & Heating Engineering, Water Industry Approved and Water Safe Registered. As Water Industry Approved Plumbers our engineers are recognised by DEFRA and the Secretary of State as Approved Contractors. Our engineers have also been trained by Legionella Control International and hold City & Guilds accreditation in Legionella Risk Assessment, Management & Control.
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