Exploring the New HTM 04-01 Revised Guidance for Safe Water in Healthcare

HTM 04-01 - Water Safety Management in Hospitals & HealthcareIn this article we explore the Department of Health’s updated Health Technical Memorandum (HTM 04-01) titled “Safe water in healthcare premises”. We look at how the revised parts of the HTM help to safeguard the quality of water supplies in hospitals and healthcare facilities; and control legionella, pseudomonas and other waterborne pathogens.

Combating legionella and pseudomonas is a crucial part of managing, operating and maintaining any water system. Since hot and cold water systems are used extensively throughout hospitals, clinical surgeries and other healthcare facilities, it is a good idea to make use of all the help and information you can get if you have responsibility for dealing with the challenges such engineered water systems can present.

In May of last year, the UK’s Department of Health (DoH) updated their existing documents relating to Guidance for Safe Water in Healthcare premises. This update is called the Health Technical Memorandum (HTM 04-01): Safe water in healthcare premises.

Risks associated with legionella and pseudomonas

Both legionella and pseudomonas bacteria pose considerable health risks to those in hospitals, care homes and other healthcare settings. They are both known to pose a risk to humans, but especially those who have weakened immune systems or are already ill who are at a greater risk of falling seriously ill if exposed to these bacteria.

The new HTM 04-01 guidelines provide further advice and support on how to control the levels of legionella and pseudomonas bacteria in hot and cold water systems in such healthcare settings, and how to manage the risks associated with them.

Other pathogens that can also be transmitted and may also grow and develop in hospital water systems have also been mentioned in the memorandum. Mycobacteria is just one of these.

The three sections of the updated HTM 04-01

The updated HTM 04-01 is split in to three parts which are labelled A, B and C for clarity. Each section refers to a specific part of the process of managing water hygiene associated risks in healthcare settings.

Part A is focused on designing and installing a water system, as well as the commissioning process.

Part B covers the new requirements, a Water Safety Plan and a Water Safety Group, as well as the day-to-day management of such systems.

Finally, Part C targets the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and which measures should be brought in to control this bacterium. Pseudomonas is one of the most prevalent bacteria to be found in hospitals and similar settings, and one that causes infections – sometimes serious in nature – in those who are already sick.

More about the updated HTM 04-01

If you have any interest in hot or cold water systems in a healthcare environment, make sure you read the latest updates to the Guidance for Safe Water in Healthcare as soon as possible. This will help ensure you are meeting and exceeding all requirements as laid down by the Department of Health.

Expert legionella and pseudomonas risk management support for hospitals and healthcare facilities

To find out more about our specialist legionella and pseudomonas risk management services including risk assessment, City & Guilds training, water testing, and other risk management support services call us today on 0330 223 36 86 or get in touch here … contact us

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Further reading

For additional information about HTM 04-01 parts A, B and C … here