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Patients being moved out of Ward 7 at Dr Gray's due to a "legionella risk"

By Jonathan Clark

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Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin.
Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin.

PATIENTS on Ward 7 at Dr Gray’s are being moved due to a "legionella risk".

Outlets were sampled as part of ongoing redevelopment work in that part of the hospital, with results revealing water quality issues.

To date, no cases of Legionnaires Disease have been found in either patients or staff. However, until the risk can be properly investigated and managed, the area will be closed to patients and staff.

Alasdair Pattinson, the hospital's general manager, said: “I know this move will cause inconvenience and disruption for patients, their families, and staff.

"However, the safety of everyone in Dr Gray’s Hospital must be a priority. Until we can properly understand and deal with this water quality issue, this is the best course of action.

“The hospital is busy at present and making changes like this will likely affect the wider staff team. I am extremely grateful to everyone working on this for their flexibility and hard work, at an already pressured time.

“I want to reassure both patients and their families that care will continue to be delivered, throughout the hospital, to the same high standard.

"We will be in contact directly with those affected to advise where in the hospital they will be accommodated.”

Ward 7 at Dr Gray’s Hospital is on the first floor. The floor below houses a number of Allied Health Professional teams, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dietitians, who will also move to other locations while works are carried out.

Some medical and administrative staff also have offices in this area and will be relocated in the interim.

Some appointments may have to be rescheduled or relocated. Patients will be contacted directly by the clinical team as required.

Moray's SNP MSP Richard Lochhead and Consverative MP Douglas Ross both called for investigations into the water issue to be completed as promptly as possible.

Mr Lochhead said: “Clearly patient safety is absolutely essential so, although this decision may cause some concern amongst patients and staff, it seems the right decision to move patients from Ward 7 to another part of the hospital until these water quality issues are resolved.

“I’m sure that Ward 7 patients will continue to receive excellent care from the dedicated staff at Dr Gray’s, and I would only urge NHS Grampian to work to resolve these issues as quickly as possible to minimise disruption for everyone affected, including patients elsewhere in the hospital given existing pressures.”

Mr Ross added: “This is a worrying situation, but I am pleased that NHS Grampian has acted promptly to protect patients and staff.

“Thankfully, no cases have been found in patients or staff working in Ward 7, or in the other departments but given Ward 7 is an acute elderly admissions ward this is still very concerning for patients, their families and the staff.

“I hope that the investigation into the water supply can be completed quickly, with appropriate action taken to ensure that patients and staff can safely return to Ward 7 as soon as possible.”

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