Safe Water in Hospitals & Healthcare Premises

by | Jan 7, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

Legionnaires’ Disease is especially dangerous for the elderly, frail and those with compromised immune systems. Therefore, it is essential that all hospitals and healthcare premises be vigilant, carry out regular testing and take steps to prevent outbreaks – otherwise, they are not only putting their patients’ lives at risk, they are also leaving their company at risk of prosecution.

Bupa was fined £3m in 2018 after the death of a pensioner at one of its care homes. The judge found the care home lacking in its duty of care, having ignored warning signs of Legionella for around three years. There are also numerous news stories of healthcare providers being fined hundreds of thousands of pounds for their failure to protect patients from the bacteria.

Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 04-01: Safe water in healthcare premises

The government’s Health Technical Memorandum 04-01 is a three-part guide to the legal requirements, applications, maintenance and operation of safe water supply systems in healthcare premises. Part B covers operational management with specific reference to Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.

The control measures the report recommends focus on temperature control. Given that Legionella thrives in temperatures between 20 and 45oC, cold water supplies need to be kept at a temperature lower than 20oC and hot water needs to be kept above 60oC in order to be able to reach the outlet at a minimum of 55oC.

However, in healthcare facilities, the water systems are typically more complex, making it more difficult to control waterborne pathogens by temperature alone. HTM 04-01 guidance suggests using additional control measures such as chemical and other water treatments, as well as ongoing monitoring.

This is especially important in augmented care settings where patients are immunosuppressed and particularly vulnerable. The Memorandum gives guidance for additional safety measures in Part C, advising that training should not be confined to just the medical and care staff: “Management should ensure that all staff with responsibility for cleaning should be adequately trained and made aware of the importance of high standards of cleanliness”.

We are experienced in Legionella testing and prevention in healthcare and augmented care facilities. If you would like to outsource your risk assessment and maintenance to an experienced professional company, contact us to find out more.

Legionella and Water Hygiene Blog Posts

Do ice machines spread legionnaires’ disease?

Given that the legionella virus is only active between the temperatures of 20oC and 45oC, it seems reasonable to assume that, if you use an ice machine - or have an ice machine or cool water dispenser integrated into your fridge/freezer - you ought to be...

How temperature influences legionella growth

As the optimum temperatures that allow the legionella bacteria to thrive are between 25oC and 45oC, the World Health Organisation’s advice is to maintain cold water below 20°C and hot water above 50°C. In cold water Lower water temperatures don’t kill...

Is Your Legionella Control Regime Working Effectively?

As an employer, facilities manager or landlord, it’s your responsibility to take actions in order to control the risks associated with the Legionella bacteria. As a duty holder, you are required to make an assessment of the risks or hire someone who is...

Water Hygiene Services

Risk Assessments

All water systems require an risk assessment.

Remedial Works

Reduce your legionella risks all in one place.

Legionella Testing

Legionella and water quality testing.

Tank Cleaning

Water tank cleaning for all shapes and sizes.

Legionella Training

Flexible E-learning courses, duration 2-3hrs.


New mains, tank or full system chlorinations.


Let the specialists control & management your risk.


Specialist, professional, experienced advice.

Why do so many choose uRisk?

25 Years Experience

Over 25 years of water hygiene and legionella control experience.

Customer Service Excellence

Friendly and simple advice by phone, email & online at your convenience.

City & Guilds Qualified

All staff are trained water hygiene consultants and engineers.

Nationwide Coverage

With engineers located all across the UK, we’re never too far away.

UKAS Accredited Testing

Our labs are UKAS approved providing you with quality assurance.

Full Compliance Services

Your one stop shop for legionella control, no need to go elsewhere.