Monday, 4 April 2011

And because Barnet doesn't do things by halves: call for a public inquiry into legionella bacteria discovery UPDATED

Because I've been doing work on the MetPro story I haven't given this story nearly enough attention: the discovery of legionella bacteria in three Fremantle care homes used by Barnet council.

Barnet council has now issued an improvement order to Catalyst, who owns the homes. Barnet Unison, concerned for Barnet residents using the homes, their visitors, and care home staff, is calling for a public inquiry into this affair.

Like the MetPro affair, it shines a light on the risks inherent in the council/contractor relationship, particularly, as in this case, where the council contracts to a private company, who then sub-contract.

We need to get to the bottom of how it was possible that there was a legionella discovery at three separate care homes in order to ensure that it doesn't happen again. This story needs to be more widely known.

Read Barnet Unison's call for an inquiry and please sign the petition. Thank you.

UPDATE: This, from an email on 4 April, is how councillor Cohen has moved to put staff and residents' mind at rest about the discovery of legionella bacteria in three care homes used by Barnet council:

Dear Mr.Burgess
Thank you for your e mail. I am confident that this matter has been well handled by the department
I see no need for a public inquiry.
Have asked Rick Mason to respond to your specific questions
Melvin Cohen
Read Unison's response to Cllr Cohen here.

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