Tougher Qld legionella reporting laws for health facilities a welcome step for patient safety

3 February 2016
Today’s announcement that the Queensland Government will introduce laws requiring hospitals and aged care facilities to report legionella test results have been welcomed as an important step to better protect patient safety, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said today.

Maurice Blackburn Medical Negligence Principal Sarah Atkinson, who is acting for clients affected by the 2013 outbreak at the Wesley Hospital, said laws requiring the public reporting of test results across all sectors would play an important role in ensuring quick and appropriate responses could be implemented to better protect patients who may be at risk.

“Sadly as we have seen from past events, legionella outbreaks in hospitals can be very serious and a timely response to any outbreak where patients may be at risk is absolutely critical,” Ms Atkinson said.

“In our view, laws such as this that will help to improve consistency of reporting outbreaks across private and public health facilities are also important so that patients can have confidence that outbreaks identified in any facility will be quickly reported and managed.

“A number of changes have already been made around reporting and management of legionella outbreaks to help bring Queensland in-line with other states when it comes to monitoring for legionella bacteria, and today’s announcement is a further step in strengthening that response to better protect patient safety,” she said.

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