• Toilet leaks force United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust to relocate aseptic unit
  • Asbestos, drinking water and water mains also highlighted as risks

Repeated leaks from a toilet have forced an acute hospital to relocate a sterile unit used for the production of injectable medicines.

This was among several high-risk concerns over estates’ issues at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

A report to the trust’s public board meeting in December said there had been “repeated incidents of water leaks into one of the PHB aseptic rooms (tray washing room) from an upstairs toilet”. Chemotherapy drugs are among those produced by the unit.

The report noted that if water reached the “main clean room” it could result in closure of the aseptic unit for recommissioning.

The trust said there was no disruption to the supply of chemotherapy to patients and aseptic pharmacy production was moved elsewhere while they procured a mobile lab, which would be on site for the next year. A business case is being developed for a long-term solution.

The report also included a number of other estates risks, including the fragility of the sole water main to Pilgrim Hospital, concerns over drinking water, and the availability of funding to remove asbestos.

The trust said it complied with drinking water guidelines and that asbestos funding was determined on a scheme specific basis derived from asbestos surveys.

ULHT director of estates and facilities Paul Boocock said: “The trust is in the process of replacing the water main and water storage tanks at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston. This planned maintenance to replace old infrastructure, as identified on the trust’s risk register, is part of the trust’s water safety compliance programme.

“These works are planned for completion during March/April 2020 and will also include the installation of a new chlorine dioxide dosing plant as part of the trust’s ongoing water safety improvement works to ensure continued compliance with statutory standards.”

In August last year, prime minister Boris Johnson announced a £21m investment to expand the hospital’s emergency department. The trust’s total maintenance backlog is around £236m.