Legionnaire’s disease closes a historic Shropshire hotel


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The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow, Shropshire is Grade I listed and dates back to 1619. After an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease and the following Public Health investigation in 2017 led to trading difficulties, the hotel has entered administration.

It will remain open for now while it is assessed by an administrator, and there have been no redundancies from its 30-strong staff.

Raj Mittal and Steve Stokes, partners at the administrator FRP Advisory, have been appointed Joint Administrators. Mittal said: “The Feathers Hotel worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands and Shropshire to enable a staged reopening of the business.

“Unfortunately, the impact of the initial closure and restricted trading conditions resulted in severe cash flow difficulties, which led to the company entering administration.

“We’re now working closely with the directors to evaluate all routes forward for the business over the coming weeks.”

HeatingSave can help to prevent outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease

Legionnaires’ disease, an atypical form of pneumonia, is caused by inhaling airborne water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. Anyone can get Legionnaires’ disease, but elderly people, smokers, alcoholics and those with cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are more at risk. The Legionella bacteria can also cause a lesser, flu-like disease called Pontiac fever, and can cause problems throughout the body if they spread, e.g. pancreatitis (pancreas) or myocarditis (heart). They thrive in water temperatures from 20 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius, and do not survive in water that is more than 60 degrees Celsius.

If your premises have an immersion heater, the chances are that you will already have it set up to come on and off at specific points in the day.

HeatingSave, the building energy management system, allows you to set the water temperature differently throughout the day – you can set a different heating pattern every minute if you so wish. This is useful for many reasons, but a key benefit is that having complete control over the hot water temperature also allows you to include a hot water “boost” to combat legionella.

You choose when to start the “boost”, and as long as the water temperature is above 60 degrees Celsius, the bacteria will no longer be potentially harmful.

HeatingSave is also useful for your immersion control in a wider scope. Immersion demand is matched by the sophisticated heat profile algorithm to use the least amount of energy required. For example, if you set the heating to 19 degrees Celsius in reception at 8:00, over time, the system will learn the very latest point it can start heating the water in order to reach your required temperature. This minimises wasted electricity and could save you a considerable amount over the heating year.

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