Reading cosmetic surgery puts patients at risk for Legionnaires’ disease

A cosmetic surgery in Reading that failed to adequately check for Legionella bacteria risks has been criticized by inspectors.

Chiltern Medical on Broad Street was found to be in need of improvement after a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This follows a CQC inspection last year which found that the company’s Goring site was also in need of improvement.

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Although the CQC found that the surgery “went well overall,” it said it did not meet legal requirements for safe care and treatment and good governance.

He said the service does not ensure that all risks are assessed by someone with the relevant skills and does not have effective governance processes to assess, monitor and improve the service.

The surgery also did not always assess the individual needs of patients before attending an appointment.

The risk of Legionella due to the lack of risk assessments was a major concern.

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams.

Bacteria can become a health problem when they grow and spread in the water systems of man-made buildings, such as air conditioning systems, humidifiers, or hot tubs.

Legionella bacteria can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease and also a milder illness called Pontiac fever.

The CQC report said: “The clinic’s risk of Legionella had not been fully assessed. The risk assessment had not been carried out by a person competent in the risk assessment of Legionella.

“This meant that there were unknown risks in the water supply system related to debris in the water or rarely used water sources.

“However, the service recognized the importance of monitoring the water temperature.

“Following our inspection, officials said they would have the water system checked by someone with the relevant expertise and planned to undergo specific training to further their knowledge of Legionella. “

The CQC also expressed concern about the difficulties for people with reduced mobility to access the office, the lack of information leaflets in other languages ​​and the lack of an interpretation service.

The clinic is located on the first and second floor of a shared building and is only accessible by stairs.

This means that the clinic is not accessible to everyone and that a patient may be prevented from attending a booked appointment.

Managers told inspectors this had never happened and that they would offer appointments at their other clinic in Goring if a patient informed them of their mobility needs.

They also said there had been no demand for leaflets in other languages, but would consider providing leaflets on request.

Management told the CQC that they would ask a friend or family member of a patient to interpret if the staff were unable to help, but the inspector said: “That did not guarantee that the correct information was provided ”.

The CQC asked the surgery to make changes to overcome these problems.

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