Residents at Thamesbrook, a nursing home in Chelsea, London, are being forced to move due to a discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water system.
“Legionella bacteria was detected in some of the taps and showers at Thamesbrook in February,” according to the Thamesbrook Council.
A spokesperson of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) said that “although the risk to Thamesbrook’s residents and staff was low…The Council has decided to temporarily transfer the residents to other homes nearby so that they can be provided with a good quality of care in a suitable environment.”
Family members of residents fear that their loved ones will not be able to return to the home, a popular health care amenity in the area, due to the property value. There are also concerns about moving some of the more frail residents.
Dr. Jane Tinkler, MD of Advance Enviornmental Ltd, a water management company, actually felt that the closure was unnecessary and said “this seems very unusual. In the eighteen years I’ve been managing outbreaks of Legionella in health care facilities, I’ve never had to close a care home or hospital.”
Considering that the elderly are among the most vulnerable to contracting Legionnaires’ disease, however, it may actually be prudent to err on the side of caution.
The West London Clinical Commissioning Group is working with the Thamesbrook Council to assess the risk and take appropriate action. So far, Legionella bacteria were found in the drinking water supply and so those lines were cut off and bottled water was given instead to the residents.
To read more about this story, please click here.