Patient concerns over hospital water

The water sample taken by patient Michael Moore at Altnagelvin Hospital.
The water sample taken by patient Michael Moore at Altnagelvin Hospital.

A patient at Altnagelvin Hospital has raised safety concerns after coming across “grey-green” water coming from the taps on his ward.

Michael Moore (38) from Omagh said the effluent seemed “like something from a Third World nation” and has shared a photograph of a sample he took.

Ms O'Kane spent seven weeks in hospital after the fall.

Ms O'Kane spent seven weeks in hospital after the fall.

A spokesperson for the Western Health and Social Care Trust confirmed there had been an incident at the hospital from Tuesday night into Wednesday, but said that services to patients were not affected.

The Trust have also said that the episode resulted from a valve in the system that had failed.

A Kidney patient, Mr. Moore said he went to the toilet during the night but found that there were people working at the facilities across various wards on different levels.

“I collected a sample from a room in the same ward I am in and there was this grey-green water. It’s like an olive oil colour. How can that happen?

Michael Moore.

Michael Moore.

“It seemed like something from a Third World nation. I am concerned because this may have got into the system and an organisation like this especially needs fresh water, sterile water because it is a hospital.”

Mr. Moore said he was drinking from a bottle of water a relative had left for him as a precautionary measure.

“I would be worried about the coffees, stuff like that,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Western Trust, speaking on Wednesday, said: “Altnagelvin Hospital experienced an unexpected disruption to its water supply last night. This affected a number of wards.”

“Trust Business Continuity Plans were immediately implemented to ensure bottled water was available to patients and staff.

“Water supply has been restored this morning (Wednesday) and work is ongoing to flush out the system. Services to patients were not affected.

A spokesman for NI Water meanwhile, confirmed they were not notified of any interruption to supply or any water quality issues at Altnagelvin.

“In this case, there were no issues with the water supply network supplying the hospital, however, there may have been issues within the hospital’s internal pipework,” a spokeswoman said, adding:

“NI Water continuously checks the quality of drinking water. The safety and welfare of the public remains our highest priority and as part of our ongoing monitoring programme, we collect regular samples and test them against drinking water regulatory standards. Customers should be assured that the priority for NI Water is to ensure a supply of good quality, safe drinking water. If any customer is concerned about their water supply, they should call Waterline on 03457 440088.”