St Christopher’s Hospice water cooling system has been implicated in four cases of Legionnaire’s disease. It hit three patients and one staff member causing the closure of admissions on January 15th.
The management have brought forward their planned refurbishment programme to replace the suspected pipework. The Hospice say that during the refurbishments, while the inpatient unit is closed, day and outpatient services will continue via the Anniversary Centre. Staff released from the wards are being redeployed to assist colleagues in the community.
The original Hospice building was opened in 1967 the world’s first purpose-built hospice. It was the brainchild of Cicely Saunders who lived just round the corner in Lawrie Park Gardens and was the founding force of modern palliative care. Since then the Hospice has expanded greatly with a modern education block. St Christopher’s has pioneered a change in the nature of pallative care by enabling people approaching the end of their lives to stay at home amongst friends and family supported by nursing and specialist care from the Hospice. Only when that becomes impossible are they admitted to the Hospice wards.