Legionella has been found in water supplying parts of a cancer treatment ward at a hospital in Edinburgh.
Traces of the bacteria were identified in the radiotherapy unit at the Western General Hospital. NHS Lothian said the source had been isolated and there had been no cases of infection in hospital patients or staff. The health board said the type of bacteria normally poses no risk of infection to people. Essential services have been moved to other parts of the building while “a thorough programme of disinfection and cleaning is being carried out”.
Two specialist machines have also been closed while remedial works continue. The remaining radiotherapy machines will be run for extended hours to ensure patient appointments continue to be allocated and carried out as quickly as possible, hospital bosses said.
Alison MacDonald, nurse director at NHS Lothian, said: “Legionella bacteria was detected during routine water sampling as part of our building monitoring and hygiene vigilance measures. “The risk to patients and staff is low but we’ve enhanced infection and control measures across the building as a precaution.
“We assure patients that radiotherapy treatments will continue to be carried out as quickly as possible and apologise to anyone who has been affected or had their appointment rescheduled.”
NHS Lothian said the situation was being closely monitored and continuously assessed.