ProEconomy’s battle against the government’s degenerate stance on Legionella control has finally come to a successful conclusion. ProEconomy were appalled when the government referred to the inefficient temperature control regime as ‘preferred’ in their HTM04 document.
ProEconomy were baffled and concerned by the government’s support for the temperature control regime, since it is a proven ineffective regime for controlling Legionella and costs the NHS substantially, financially and in terms of carbon footprint. A US report from the University of Pittsburgh stated that ‘contamination with Legionella will often recur within months of using temperature control’ and that it ‘is tedious and labour intensive to maintain’.
ProEconomy took their concerns directly to the Department of Health. They asked them to produce the scientific evidence that had supported their decision to ‘prefer’ the temperature control regime. However, after three unsuccessful requests to retrieve this evidence, ProEconomy had to resort to citing the Freedom of Information act. After almost 2 months, the Department of Health finally revealed its evidence. Of the 31 scientific papers that were produced, none supported the temperature control regime, 21 did not mention the temperature control regime, 3 were actually against it and 7 were in favour of the copper and silver ionisation, that is used by ProEconomy.
In May 2008 ProEconomy forced the issue in the House of Commons again and finally reached a successful conclusion. They were delighted when the Department of Health stipulated that they did not prefer one method of water treatment over another, just that they viewed the temperature control regime to be the traditional system. In fact the Department of Health did not understand why ProEconomy had been so worried, since the word ‘preferred’ had only been written in the introduction and had no relevance to the actual HTM04 guidelines. The Department of Health made it clear that they were happy as long a recognised form of Legionella control, such as copper and silver ionisation, was being used.
It may seem to many, especially in the Department of Health, that ProEconomy were ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill’. Perhaps this is true. But it does go to show how conscientious ProEconomy are, especially since they were the only copper and silver ionisation company to challenge the government on this issue.
ProEconomy have now been asked by the Department of Health to contribute to amendments to the HTM04.