OAPs move to Dagenham health centre after Hornchurch Legionnaires’ disease scare

Health chiefs were forced to move stroke patients to a rehabilitation unit in Dagenham after a Legionnaires’ disease scare at St George’s Hospital.

The Hornchurch hospital closed on Monday after unusually high levels of the legionella bacteria were found in several sections of the water system.

Fourteen elderly patients recovering from strokes and other ailments have been transferred to the Grays Court rehabilitation unit in John Parker Close, Dagenham.

Health bosses stressed on Monday that no one had actually contracted the potentially fatal disease, which triggers high fever and pneumonia.


An NHS spokesman said: “During routine water testing at St George’s Hospital preliminary results last week showed elevated levels of legionella bacteria in sections of the water system.

“Patients were moved on Thursday to wards at Brentwood Community Hospital and Grays Court in Dagenham.

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“It is not uncommon for routine testing to detect legionella bacteria.”

Tests are continuing and it is not known when the hospital, which was fully closed on Monday, will reopen.