Critical control points for water management in augmented care areas

The outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the neonatal unit in Belfast and associated deaths in 2012 changed overnight the way the periphery of the water system was to be managed. It resulted in production of the ensuing addendums to HTM04 – 01. Without any formal training infection control teams were suddenly expected to take on a significant role in the management of water systems. Legionella training is well developed across the water industry and includes competency based assessments. In contrast Infection control teams just by reading the HTM were expected to comprehend the issues and deliver a programme to ensure water safety in augmented care areas. Whilst the HTM is a good start this by itself is insufficient to communicate to infection control teams the intricacies of preventing waterborne infection. This talk aims to highlight some of the critical control points in preventing waterborne infections in augmented care units, which if followed, should significantly reduce the risks.

Dr Michael Weinbren, Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust