New Jubilee Health Centre in Wallington had no plan to prevent Legionnaires' risk
A state-of-the-art healthcare centre had no plan for the prevention of Legionella - a bug which can lead to potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease.
A series of flaws with the new £13m Jubilee Health Centre, in Wallington, were made public at a scrutiny committee meeting held at St Helier hospital on Wednesday night.
It emerged that four services had been removed from the centre by their provider, Epsom and St Helier trust, because of the problems with the building’s water and fire safety.
The services they removed from the centre, which is owned by five GPs and opened in October last year, include blood testing, antenatal classes, hip and knee clinics and an orthotics clinic.
Wallington Councillor Sunita Gordon, who is a patient at the centre herself, said: "How come we have all these water issues now and we didn’t when it was that old rickety place where you came out with a cure?"
Project manager for the Jubilee Health Centre, Andrew Grimes, said that the landlord takes over the responsibility for water and they are asked to comply with health and safety standards.
"He stressed that Legionella could only be a problem if it had not been managed in time.
He added: "We were not worried that we were putting patients at risk and I was asking on a regular basis of my adviser if they would say if we should be stopping this building or not."
Matthew Hopkins, the chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier trust, said they were still committed to providing services from the centre but they had worked tirelessly to get assurances for a fire and water management at the centre.
The trust, which has had its own experience with Legionnaires-related issues at Sutton Hospital, felt it had no alternative but to withdraw the services.
The primary care trust and the company developing the centre reviewed the risk assessments for water and fire management - identifying issues that needed to be resolved.
It has pledged to take action.