Leeds Council stops new placements at care home after legionella bacteria found in the water

Donisthorpe Hall
Donisthorpe Hall
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Leeds City Council have stopped new local authority placements at a Leeds care home after legionella bacteria was found in the water.

-> Leeds care home responds after Legionnaires' bacteria found in water
Bosses at Donisthorpe Hall on Shadwell Lane said they have "reassured residents and their families" after the bacteria legionella was found in the water.

The bacteria - which when inhaled is the most common cause of Legionnaires' disease - was recently found in samples but managers say there is no risk to residents.

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia usually caused by breathing in mist from water that contains legionella.

Donisthorpe Hall is a nursing home that is currently classed as requiring improvement, following an August 2018 inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) health watchdog.

Following the outbreak, Leeds City Council said "new local authority placements" had been stopped and the council confirmed they were providing guidance to the home's management.

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: “Leeds City Council works closely with local providers and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to make sure care homes in the city meet the necessary standards and are safe, suitable, properly run places for people to be.

“Due to the positive results for legionella bacteria in the water supply at Donisthorpe Hall, new local authority placements there have been stopped and we have been providing guidance and advice to the home’s management. We have also been seeking assurance that the necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

“We will continue to work closely with families as well as the management at Donisthorpe Hall and to monitor the situation.”

Managers say they have reassured residents and their families that there is no risk to residents or visitors following a health and safety check on its water system.

Sue Cawthray, a trustee for the home, said: "During these checks, the bacteria legionella was found in some of the water samples.

"The management team took immediate expert advice from the council and

Infection Control experts, and all necessary steps have been taken both to address the weaknesses in the water heating systems and to keep residents safe while this is happening."

Donisthorpe Hall provides accommodation and nursing for up to 189 people in one adapted building, according to the most recent CQC report.

In a statement released by the care home, they said open meetings have been held with residents, relatives and the wider community together with representatives of the contractors, the Trustees and Leeds City Council contracts team to enable them to ask questions about the situation.

The Registered Home Manager, Jane Stone, reassured residents and relatives.

She said: “All precautions have been taken, we have a robust plan in place, which has been extremely effective the water system is being chemically treated and samples regularly taken in line with our action plan and risk assessment and all boiler temperatures have been adjusted.

"Since the onset of this situation, I have been in communication with the Care Quality Commission, Leeds City Council, Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health England, Infection Prevention and control lead nurse.

"All test results are showing the disinfection is working and that the bacteria is clearing from the system.

"We are open and transparent with all our test results, which we share with all statutory bodies."

Ms Stone confirmed no-one has presented any symptoms of the disease at the home and management are "constantly monitoring" residents.

She added: "I would like to pay tribute to the staff and contractors who have been working many extra hours to keep things running smoothly with the least possible disruption to the home in order to manage these issues and to thank residents and relatives for their ongoing support.”