"Elevated levels'" of legionella bacteria have been found at a hospital causing disruption to the maternity unit.
The trust operating the Darlington Memorial Hospital said while no infections linked to legionella have been found in any of the patients, heath chiefs are continuing to monitor the situation and manage it in line with national guidance.
The discovery has led to the temporary closure of showers on the hospital's maternity ward, DarlingtonLive reports.
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Legionella is a bacteria which can cause Legionnaires’ Disease. Legionella bacteria can be found in water, including in ponds, hot and cold water systems.
A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As part of routine and regular testing of our water supply, elevated levels of legionella have been detected in water samples from several areas across the Darlington Memorial Hospital site.
"No infections linked to legionella have been identified either in current or recently discharged patients and we are continuing to closely monitor and assess the situation.
"We have put in place a series or proportionate mitigating actions to minimise the risk.
"These include filters connected to all cold water taps - maintaining our drinking water supply, and to showers."
As a result of these new measures, there is no longer sufficient water pressure being delivered to the showers on the maternity unit, meaning that women will need to shower on alternative wards until the new equipment arrives in the coming weeks. The birthing pool is also out of use.
A spokesperson for the trust added: "Our maternity unit is at the top of our hospital tower block resulting in reduced water pressure in the showers although baths across the hospital remain in use.
"Delivery of equipment to improve water pressure is expected within weeks, meanwhile, women are able to shower on alternative wards.
"The birthing pool at Darlington Memorial Hospital is not currently being used.
"We apologise for this inconvenience and as part of ante-natal arrangements women wishing to use a birthing pool, are being offered the option of going to our Durham hospital - University Hospital of North Durham.”
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