Legionella bacteria is still being found in Peterhead hospital seven months after it was first detected.
Traces are still being detected in the water system at Peterhead Community Hospital.
In a report, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) confirmed it is still experiencing “abnormal results” in spite of upgrades to the pipes.
It was first detected seven months ago and the facility remains partially closed.
Tests will be carried out for another six weeks.
MP David Duguid now plans to meet with health bosses, and will be given a tour of the “significant investment” taking place at the health facility.
While the minor injuries unit has reopened, the 17-bed Summers ward remains closed, forcing patients to travel 20 miles for overnight care in Fraserburgh.
Mr Duguid is also concerned for pregnant women still having to make an hour-long journey to Aberdeen or Inverurie if they go into labour as the maternity unit is also closed for work to the water system.
Following the update, he said: “I appreciate the significant work which is being done to resolve this problematic issue which is causing concern among the Peterhead community who are worried about health provision in the town.
“Seven months on from when the Legionella bacteria was first discovered, I am concerned about the length of time of the closure and the negative impact it is having on patients, particularly the elderly and pregnant women who are being forced to travel elsewhere to be seen.”
He added: “From the update given to me, it’s clear bacteria is still being found in some of the supplies which is deeply alarming.
“Peterhead Community Hospital is a vital asset to the town and I hope my visit to the site will give both I and patients some clarity on when we can expect the Summers Ward and Maternity Unit to reopen again.”
What’s been done so far?
The update from Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership read: “Remedial works to the pipework at Peterhead Community Hospital have been completed as far as possible and we have now commissioned a series of water tests to be carried out across the hospital site.
“Due to the nature of the testing regime which requires multiple re-tests for accuracy, it may take up to six weeks for them to be completed.
“An initial thermal disinfection was carried out in the unit on July 22-23. Water samples were taken over two days on July 31 and August 1; water filters were also changed on those days. Early results have been returned showing the positive impact of the work carried out to date.
“It should be noted sampling results for legionella are not yet available. Some water outlets are still demonstrating abnormal results however, and there is an action plan in place to address this which will be regularly reviewed to ensure the issues are being resolved.”
AHSCP has been contacted for comment.