Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital cleared of negligence in legionnaires’ outbreak that … – The Daily Telegraph
QUEENSLAND’S 267 public health facilities spent between $ 20,000 and $ 100,000 testing for and tackling a potentially deadly bacteria.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg on Thursday tabled a report into the legionnaires’ outbreak at Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital which led to the death of a patient and sparked a statewide legionella testing regime.
Mr Springborg said chief health officer Jeannette Young’s report found the Wesley did not specifically breach any legislation or regulation.
“There was no evidence of negligence or intent on the part of the Wesley Hospital resulting in harm to visitors, patients or staff,” Mr Springborg said.
But he said some administrative failures were identified in regards to the Wesley’s management of and response to the outbreak of legionnaires’ disease.
“Deficiencies were also detected in the laboratory information system and supporting procedure documents at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology,” Mr Springborg said.
“These deficiencies resulted in their failure to notify Queensland Health of the first positive legionella test result from the Wesley.
“Fortunately, in this case, the failure had no impact on future risks to other patients given the prompt and comprehensive actions undertaken by the Wesley Hospital.”
In terms of the testing regime, Mr Springborg said 267 facilities reported more than 5000 test results and of those just 83 public and 76 private facilities did not detect any legionella.
“Costs received to date from hospital and health services ranged from $ 20,000 to about $ 100,000,” he said.
“Metro South Hospital and Health Service employed the State’s most comprehensive testing regime at a cost of $ 102,000, with the small number of positive samples returned being treated quickly and successfully.
“The South West Hospital and Health Service have spent a similar amount as they continue to tackle highly persistent Legionella problems, particularly at Charleville Hospital, Waroona Aged Care Facility and Quilpie Hospital.
“Charleville and Waroona have to date undergone nine separate rounds of testing and retesting and have engaged a specialist consultant.
“By way of comparison, completed testing within the Townsville and Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services cost around $ 35,000.”
Overall, Mr Springborg told State Parliament Dr Young’s review identified a number of areas that needed to be improved including regulation, water supply to health and residential aged care facilities and water infrastructure and water quality management, including periodic testing and reporting.
“I will keep members informed as we work with other government agencies to implement its recommendations,” Mr Springborg said.