Bug discovery shuts new Barrow cancer suite on first day
Last updated at 16:13, Thursday, 31 October 2013
A NEW Barrow cancer ward was shut down on its opening day after the discovery of a bug in the water taps.
As a result no patients were transferred to the revamped unit at Furness General Hospital.
On Tuesday staff and patients gathered to mark the official opening of the new suite.
FGH was set to transfer patients yesterday but the discovery of the pseudomonas bacterium in water taps halted the move.
Pseudomonas is a bacterium, also called a bug or germ, that is often found in soil and water. It can cause a range of infections, particularly among those who have a low immune system through illness such as cancer.
Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “This news is worrying, particularly as there remains a real need for managers to show the new unit can adequately protect cancer patients with vulnerable immune systems from picking up infections.
“We really want to be optimistic about our oncology unit and I recognise that people have worked really hard on the new facilities but this last-minute delay will not help allay the concerns that persist about the new set-up.”
Health campaigner Darren McSweeney said: “Infection control is one of the key concerns of the FGH Cancer Care Campaign. If the transfer of immunocompromised oncology inpatients has indeed been delayed, then we welcome this if there is any threat of infection. The new unit has been designed with easy cleaning and infection control in mind, so hopefully this is a minor commissioning blip. We look for a speedy resolution as the stress placed on poorly patients being transferred to unfamiliar surroundings will only be increased by any uncertainty.”
Juliet Walters, Trust chief operating officer, said: “As part of our routine water testing, levels of pseudomonas aeruginosa have been detected in the water supply in the Coniston Suite at Furness General Hospital.
“We are currently flushing out the system and will take further samples over the coming days to monitor the levels.
“National guidance states that testing of this nature is only required in areas where patients are at high risk.”
First published at 16:11, Thursday, 31 October 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Chris this has nothing to do with the unit being on a main ward .... Chances are the old unit has probably had it too and most other wards which aren't tested also probably have it!My father was a patient of the oncology unit and sure he would be grateful that there was a dedicated unit located ANY where within FGH.Get a grip!
Its an interesting point raised by Juliet Walters in that & I quote " âNational guidance states that testing of this nature is only required in areas where patients are at high risk.â I would have expected this testing regime to have been undertaken prior to the Unit coming on-line & not be announced on the day of the opening. After all it is a critical element of patients health & security.There is a crumb of comfort from the fact it has been identified & hopefully rectified in a time scale which does not unduly impact on patients & staff alike.
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