Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (48)

Seán Ryan

Question:

157 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Health and Children the steps he intends to take arising from the report of the inquiry into the death of a person from Legionnaire's disease in Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2003; if it is intended to implement the recommendations of the report in regard to the steps being taken by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1907/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

An independent investigation team established by the chief executive officer of the South Eastern Health Board has submitted a detailed report into the circumstances of the death of a patient from Legionnnaire's disease at Waterford Regional Hospital in April 2003.

The report sets out a number of key recommendations and the South Eastern Health Board has taken the following steps. It has carried out remedial work on the existing water distribution system in Waterford Regional Hospital; installed chlorine dioxide treatment in the water system; established an environmental monitoring committee in Waterford Regional Hospital with a proposal to establish a similar committee in each acute hospital in the region; and recruited an environmental monitoring officer.

At a national level, it is important to ensure that the findings and recommendations of the report will contribute to the development of improved protocols and procedures in relation to Legionnaire's disease. Copies of the report have been forwarded to the chief executive officer of each health board and the ERHA who have been requested to examine it and to determine whether additional precautionary measures are necessary in health facilities in their functional areas.

My Department has also forwarded the report to relevant Departments of State so that they can also determine if additional precautionary measures are necessary in facilities under their control. My Department has also forwarded the report to the National Disease Surveillance Centre with a request that it consider whether any changes to its current guidelines on the management of Legionnaire's disease are necessary in the light of the report's findings and recommendations.