Air conditioning microbial checks

The request was successful.

Michael Jozefiak

Dear Sir or Madam,
I would be grateful if you could provide me with the following information concerning the air conditioning systems at the hospitals within your Trust:-

a) How often are the cooling coils checked for microbial activity?

b) Which types of rooms (wards, theatres, laboratories etc.) have their air passed through HEPA filters and how often are these HEPA filters checked for microbial/mould/biofilm growths?

Yours faithfully,

Mike Jozefiak

Thompson Kathleen, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mike

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your request for information we received on 21st August 2008 and to confirm that your request will be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Trust will endeavour to provide this within the 20 working-day deadline and I will of course keep you informed should this not prove possible for any reason.

Many Thanks

David Hewer
Head of Risk Management & Governance
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01493 453684
[James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

show quoted sections

Thompson Kathleen, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Mike

Further to your request for information dated 21^st August 2008, please
see attached the information you require.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any noncommercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown
Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown
Copyright on HMSOnline at:

[1]http://www.hmso.gov.uk/copyright/licence...

Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues
to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from
which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their
permission before reproducing any third party (non Crown Copyright)
information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request an review of our decision,
you should write to. Chief Executive, James Paget University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31
6LA.

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

Many Thanks

David Hewer

Head of Risk Management & Governance

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 01493 453684

[2][James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

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Dear David,

Thank you for the attached pdf file, however some of the information seems contradictory i.e. "HEPA filters are replaced annually and are not routinely tested for
microbial/mould/biofilm growths as this is not a specific requirement of
HTM03-01. However, microbial/mould/biofilm tests may be undertaken if
formal visual inspections identify a non-conformity."

If filters are only checked annually and not routinely tested in between, how can they also be given a "formal" visual inspection at times other than their annual check, if no such inspection arrangement exists? To my mind, a formal inspection is something which is planned into a maintenance schedule. Have I missed something here?

Yours sincerely,

Mike Jozefiak

Thompson Kathleen, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Mike

Further to your email dated 17th September 2008, please see below for the
additonal information you requested.

The Trust undertakes a 16 week planned preventative maintenance programme
for each of the Air Handling Units. If anything abnormal is identified
during the formal visual inspection such as water ponding in the AHU;
leaking heater or chiller batteries; mould growth; abnormal discoloration
of water in the traps (see table 3), etc. then comprehensive
microbiological tests will be undertaken.

Table 3 Colour of water in glass trap

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|Colour of water|Probable cause and comment |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|Normal |Satisfactory. |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|Green |Copper corrosion of pipework, possible leak in battery |
| |tubing. |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|White |Aluminium corrosion of battery fins. |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|Black |General dirt Filter faulty allowing air bypass System is|
| |overdue for a thorough clean. |
| | |
| |Urgent action required |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|Brown/red |Iron corrosion (rust) within the duct May indicate a |
| |specific Legionella hazard. |
| | |
| |Immediate action required |
|---------------+--------------------------------------------------------|
|Bubbly/slimy |Microbiological activity within the duct May indicate a |
| |specific Legionella hazard. |
| | |
| |Immediate action required |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

The filters are replaced in accordance with the manufacturer's service
instructions. The actual date for filter replacement is adjusted to fit in
with the 16 week planned maintenance programme (i.e. a manufacturer
recommends 52 week filter replacement so we may choose to replace the
filter at a 48 week interval).

Full details regarding inspection and testing are available in Health
Technical Memorandum 03-01 Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises
Part B: Operational Management and Performance Verification.

Health Technical Memorandum 03-01 supersedes all previous versions of
Health Technical Memorandum 2025 - `Ventilation in healthcare premises'.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any noncommercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder. Most
documents supplied by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust will have been produced by government officials and will be Crown
Copyright. You can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown
Copyright on HMSOnline at:

[1]http://www.hmso.gov.uk/copyright/licence...

Information you receive which is not subject to Crown Copyright continues
to be protected by the copyright of the person, or organisation, from
which the information originated. You must ensure that you gain their
permission before reproducing any third party (non Crown Copyright)
information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request an review of our decision,
you should write to. Chief Executive, James Paget University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31
6LA.

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation
Trust.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

Many Thanks

David Hewer

Head of Risk Management & Governance

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 01493 453684

[2][James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]

show quoted sections

References

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2. mailto:[James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust request email]
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Michael Jozefiak

Dear David,

Many thanks for your detailed reply. I am reassured by your 16 week inspection maintenance schedule, and that all the relevant hazards are being addressed.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Jozefiak