The Grange has been a care home for residents with learning disabilities for more than 25 years, housing 19 residents between the ages of 25 and 79. Under previous management it grew, one room at a time, to its present size but the staged conversion of the country house had left them vulnerable to potential risks that form a complex and altered water system. When new owners took over and undertook a complete review of the building and facilities, including a legionella risk assessment, they discovered that the six cold water storage tanks that serve the property represented an inherited potential problem of legionella health risk.

Swiftclean were invited to visit the site and carry out a full assessment, identifying several areas of immediate concern. Martin Hembling, Service Delivery Director for Swiftclean, said, “It was clear to me that it’d been some time since any work had been done on the cold water storage tanks. Cleaning and repair were needed as a matter of real urgency if the cold water tanks were to become L8 legionella compliant. It was a matter of safety for both residents and staff. We sent two of our operatives within days to clean the tanks, install overflow screens and air vents, fit sparge pipes and bring the lagging up to the proper standard.”

“Swiftclean have been brilliant,” said Sarah Edwards, Chief Executive of the Grange. “The two chaps were with us all day and worked so hard. It was a chaotic day when we were having other work done, including the upgrade of the fire alarm system which was very noisy.  Busy days and lots of strangers in the building can be quite distressing for the people we support so it was important, despite the activity, that people felt comfortable.  Once the gents were shown where the tanks were they just got on with their job and were barely visible for the 7 hours it took them to do the work.   The cleaning process was also a lot less intrusive than I’d anticipated. With 19 people living in the home and a number of staff on duty our water usage is high and constant, but we didn’t experience any interruption throughout the day.  It’s a relief to be sure that the work has been done properly and we have the paperwork to prove it.”

Martin explained, “It’s not unusual in the Care Home sector for owner operators to find legionella compliance has historically been a low priority, but L8 compliance is a vital element of health and safety. Work to convert large houses into residential homes was often carried out on an ad hoc basis which led to complex issues in regard to water safety and L8 legionella compliance. The new owner of the Grange was keen to improve the facilities and wise enough to carry out a full risk assessment so, when the potential compliance issue came to light, they addressed it immediately.”

Sarah Edwards said, “Our residents are the most important aspect of our business and it’s vital that every element of their health and safety is dealt with in a timely and excellent manner. Swiftclean were professional and quick as they dealt with our challenge. Thank you.”

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