King’s College London Hosts a New Initiative in Legionella Prevention and Water Safety

The London Legionella Focus Group (LLFG) officially launched last Thursday with a training day at King’s College London Science Gallery. The event, chaired by Oliver Degville, brought together public sector officials to discuss protecting public health from Legionella bacteria. Leading specialists, including Elinor Cordiner MBE of Thames Water and Toby Thorp of City of London, led discussions on the risks associated with Legionella.

“I am delighted with the success of our first meeting and the enthusiasm shown by all attendees. I believe that the London Legionella Focus Group has great potential to make a real difference in promoting awareness and best practices for Legionella control in the city. I look forward to future meetings and the continued growth of our group as we work together to protect public health.”

Oliver Degville, Chair of the London Legionella Focus Group

The event highlighted the importance of collaboration to improve operational efficiency and ensure legal duty of care compliance. The LLFG plans to focus on real case studies to share insights and learn valuable lessons.

“Reflecting on the presentations at Introducing the LLFG: London’s Newest Legionella Control Group, it’s clear that there is a lot of valuable information that needs to be shared and discussed in the field of water safety. I look forward to continued collaboration and progress in this important area.”

Jemma Tennnant, Technical Consultant, SMS Environmental and soon-to-be Chair of Water Management Society

Jemma and Ian Kershaw showcased the accomplishments of LLFG’s sister groups and outlined their goals for the London group. By partnering with North East Councils Legionella Focus Group (NECLFG), North West Councils Legionella Focus Group (NWCLFG), and Scottish Legionella Focus Group (SLFG), the LLFG brings a successful and collaborative approach to the London area for the first time.

“Presenting at the LLFG was a great opportunity to discuss the risks of contaminated drinking water. We must continue to educate the public on this issue and work towards prevention to ensure the safety of our community.”

Elinor Cordiner MBE, Head of Drinking Water Quality Standards, Thames Water

During her talk, Elinor emphasised the importance of raising awareness of the dangers of contaminated drinking water. She encouraged the public to prioritise education and prevention measures in order to safeguard the well-being of our community.

The LLFG is a non-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and providing education on the prevention of Legionella bacteria in water systems, and its first meeting was sponsored by SMS Environmental, a renowned provider of Legionella risk management services.

“It was an honour to sponsor the London Legionella Focus Group’s inaugural meeting and share insights on water safety with the public sector audience. Groups like the LLFG and its sister groups are essential to improving standards and knowledge within our industry. They offer a safe space for open discussion for end users, and help teams responsible for Legionella control within the built environment know that they are not alone in the challenges they face’’

Mike Crook, CEO, SMS Environmental

During the event, Mike held a fireside chat alongside John Mee, Technical Consultant, SMS Environmental. They delved into various challenges that the water industry is facing due to advancing technologies and systems. They also carefully examined success stories where organisations have effectively utilised innovative technologies like remote monitoring to improve day-to-day operations.

“I am pleased to have had the chance to highlight what Risk Assessment really means to me and its role in making sure that control measures are genuinely useful to the duty holder. It’s crucial for organisations to critically think about what they get from the Risk Assessment process and how it helps them protect employees and the public.”

Toby Thorp, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, City of London

During his keynote, Toby emphasised the essential nature of Legionella risk assessments, highlighting the key components that should be included. As a leader responsible for cooling towers across London, he raised awareness for the importance of protecting the health & safety of the community.

The launch event in London was a great success, paving the way for future discussions on Legionella control. From Directors to site engineers and facilities managers, everyone participated, sharing best practices in Legionella management and prevention.

A special thanks to all involved to make the first London Legionella Focus happen. Important issues were discussed, valuable insights shared. With dedicated volunteers, the group is well-positioned to advocate for improved safety measures and prevent Legionnaires’ disease in London.