Dr Tom Makin has been actively involved in all aspects of clinical diagnostic microbiology for 40 years. He was Directorate Manager of the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals for 25 years.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, registered with the Health Professions Council, a Chartered Scientist, a Member of the Water Management Society, and has a BA and a PhD.
Dr Makin's PhD was awarded by the Medical Faculty of the University of Liverpool in 1995. It focused on environmental aspects of Legionnaires’ disease and the efficacy of various measures used to control legionellae in cooling towers, domestic water systems, and other aquatic systems.
As part of his PhD thesis he developed a procedure for the rapid detection of legionellae in water systems and biofilms, and using antibody techniques monitored the incidence of legionella infection in immuno-compromised patients and others in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Dr Makin's scientific/research interests are predominantly associated with infection control arising from microbial contamination of domestic water (drinking, and hot and cold potable waters) and industrial water systems, also multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospitals, air quality in the working environment, Humidifier Fever, Sick Building Syndrome, Legionnaires' disease, etc. He has also tested the efficacy of many traditional and new biocides against clinically significant bacteria, and viruses.
In particular over the last 25 years, Dr Makin has acquired extensive practical experience in biocides and in the epidemiology, ecology, and control of the legionella bacterium and other clinically significant micro-organisms in various water systems.
A number of his papers on legionella have been published in scientific and technical journals, and he has presented many papers at conferences and seminars both nationally and internationally.
Dr Makin is an advisor to the Department of Health (DoH) through their executive agency NHS Estates. He participated in the production of their legionella technical guidance for healthcare premises HTM 2040, and in the replacement guidance HTM 04-01 which was published in 2006.
Dr Makin managed a 3-year study for the DoH, which evaluated the efficacy of chlorine dioxide in controlling legionellae and biofilm in a hospital, where an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease had occurred.
Dr Makin has advised many NHS Trusts throughout the UK, municipalities in the middle east, local authorities in the UK, fire services, cruise line companies, international hotel chains, large food manufacturers, and many other commercial organisations, on the control of legionella bacteria and other micro-organisms in their water systems.
He has recently advised the UK Water Regulations Advisory Service (WRAS) and the Water Management Society on solar thermal hot water systems.
Dr Makin is a member of the Environment Agency’s Standing Committee of Analysts working party that produced the technical guidance (part 1) for the correct sampling of water systems for the recovery of legionella bacteria.
He has also acted as an advisor to the UK Health and Safety Executive on various aspects of Legionnaires' disease. As a member of the HSE expert advisory committee he co-authored the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance, on the control of legionella bacteria in water systems (L8) - 4th edition. This document was released in the UK in January 2001. Dr.Makin has subsequently contributed to update guidance on legionella control published on the HSE’s website.
Dr Makin has acted as an expert witness and provided expert advice to lawyers on various aspects of Legionnaires’ disease in a number of high profile cases heard in the high court and Coroners court. These include Barrow, Galstonbury, Cardiff, Hereford, and various other outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease.
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