Northern Ireland

Broadways Nursing Home: Legionella bacteria found in plumbing

A close up of the legionella bacteria Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption The RQIA has stressed that there has not been an outbreak of legionnaire's disease

A strain of legionella bacteria has been found in the plumbing system of a County Antrim nursing home.

It was discovered at Broadways Nursing Home in Larne in November.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) said, that while the bacteria is present, there has not been an outbreak of legionnaire's disease.

The entire water system at the home is being replaced to address the issue. The home said the issue would be resolved in the coming weeks.

Barbara Sloan of Broadway Nursing Home said the issue was discovered as part of routine assessments.

"The pipe work is to be upgraded and while that work is being done, we have cut off some of the mains water supply within the home," she said.

"The safety and comfort of our residents is of paramount importance and will continue to be so."

The RQIA said use of some taps in the home have been withdrawn and others restricted as a precaution.

Tap filters and bottled water have also been provided to residents. The regulatory body has also notified the Health and Safety Executive.


What is legionella?

  • A strain of bacteria commonly found in water
  • It multiplies where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available
  • If bacteria are inhaled, it can lead to Legionnaires' disease - a potentially fatal type of pneumonia
  • Those more at risk include the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and those with cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease

Source: Health and Safety Executive


The RQIA said: "In late November, RQIA was notified by Broadways Nursing Home, Larne, of an issue identified through the service's water testing programme.

"RQIA advised the Health and Safety Executive of this issue, and we were assured by the measures proposed by the provider to address this, including major replumbing work.

"The safety and wellbeing of every patient at Broadways Nursing Home is of paramount importance to RQIA, and we continue to monitor this service through our ongoing regulatory activities."