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Are wastewater systems a nursery for microorganisms?

Dr Mike Weinbren, a consultant medical microbiologist, examines some of the major health risks from airborne and waterborne microorganisms transmitted via hospital wastewater systems.

In the first in a series of three articles planned to run in HEJ in coming months, Dr Mike Weinbren, a consultant medical microbiologist at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, and a Specialist Advisor, Microbiology, on England’s national New Hospital Programme, examines some of the major health risks to patients and staff from airborne and waterborne microorganisms transmitted via hospital wastewater systems.

Depending on how you look at it, the New Hospital Programme is either the perfect storm, or the perfect opportunity. England is set to build at least 40 new hospitals by 2030, a significant proportion of healthcare real estate. Expected to last for at least 60 years, these hospitals should still be operational in 2080. Such facilities will be operating over a period when the threat from antimicrobial resistance is likely to be at its fiercest. The highly influential review on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), ‘Tackling drug-resistant infections globally’, chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, predicts a bleak future should there not be a major change in current practice.1 Predicting a potential end of the antibiotic era by 2050, the estimated economic impact globally will be five hundred trillion dollars, and at least 10 million extra deaths year-on-year globally. 

Undermining advances in medicine

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Upcoming Events

Futurebuild 2024

ExCeL, London
5th - 7th March 2024

The Fire Safety Event 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
30th April - 2 May 2024

Wales regional conference, exhibition and awards dinner 2024

International Conference Centre (ICC) Newport
28th - 29th May 2024

NAHFO National Conference 2024

Crowne Plaza Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 5th June 2024

Design in Mental Health 2024

Manchester Central
4th - 5th June 2024

InstallerSHOW 2024

National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham
25th - 27th June

Access the latest issue of Health Estate Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Health Estate Journal app from your device's App store

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