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DH sets up hospital tap safety group

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The Department of Health has set up a working group to look at the safety of hospital taps following last week’s news a Gram negative bacteria had been found in sinks.

Last week, the DH warned that bodily fluids should not be disposed of down sinks and a Welsh hospital confirmed it had replaced three taps after finding traces of the bacteria.

DH senior medical officer in infectious diseases and blood Dr Michael Kelsey told Nursing Times “four or five” trusts in England had found Pseudomonas aeruginosa in their sinks.

He said: “It seems to be a potential design problem in modern taps. The estates network had started to pick up on it but there has been no formal inquiry in England.

“Once we were aware of the problem, we had to act. The DH has now formed a small working party to look at the problem. It’s being taken seriously.”

He said the working party would meet with hospital tap manufacturers and designers: “We don’t believe that any of the manufacturers are not meeting the standards but we might have to look at those standards.”

The working group will report at the end of the month.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • DH sets up hospital tap safety group - and they are cutting all the health jobs, surely they already had a relevant group that could take this on!!!

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  • the taps at the day centre where i work; not lever, not mixer, and in a sink so small it's impossible to rub man sized hands together under the hot water flow without touching the side of the basin. at least the diagram demonstrating safe hand washing technique is clearly displayed.

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