May 28, 2013  |  Questions on Notice

Health: Ballarat Base Hospital — Legionella

Mr Howard to ask the Minister for Mental Health for the Minister for Health — with reference to Legionella bacteria at the Ballarat Base Hospital:

  (1) How many times was the bacteria identified at the hospital in:
    (a) 2011;
    (b) 2012;
    (c) 2013.
  (2) For each identified instance of the bacteria in 2011, 2012 and 2013:
    (a) in which building or structure was it identified;
    (b) what was the number of colony-forming units per millilitre detected;
    (c) was it identified in any air conditioning or cooling systems;
    (d)  was  it  identified  in  water  within  a  system  designed  for  human    consumption or contact;
    (e) were staff and patients exposed to it; if so:
      (i) what was the estimated number of staff and patients exposed;
      (ii)  what   steps   were   taken  to  eliminate  further  exposure  after      identification of the bacteria;
      (iii)  were  staff and patients  potentially  exposed  notified  of  their      potential exposure.


I am informed that:

(1) (a) Nil

(b) one

(c) one

(2) (a) Both the detections of  Legionella  were from samples collected from the Edward Wilson Building

(b) In 2012 the Legionella level was 10 cfu/ml in 2013 it was 27 cfu/ml

(c) Legionella has not been detected in any air conditioning or cooling system

(d) Yes

(e) Yes

(i) In 2012 and 2013 approximately one staff  member was potentially exposed. No patients were exposed.

(ii)  Following  the detection of  Legionella on both  occasions  the system was disinfected with  hot  water. People were   prevented from showering   until the follow up sample showed  no Legionella was detected.  Following the detection in 2012 a review of the system was conducted.

(iii) All staff were informed following both detections.