Expert Welcomes Government Plans
A review into how the presence of asbestos is managed at a hospital in Aberystwyth has been launched by the Welsh government.
The independent investigation at Bronglais Hospital will run at the same time as an inquiry by the Health and Safety Executive, after it was claimed in August than around 30 maintenance staff may have been exposed to the lethal material while working on-site between 2004 and 2009.
It has been claimed that asbestos did not enter any public areas over the period, but the investigation will consider whether improvements can be made in the handling of asbestos both in the hospital and across NHS sites in Wales.
A report is expected to be published at the end of January next year.
Katrina London, an industrial illness specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office who acts for victims and the families of those who have died as a result of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, has welcomed the review.
She said: “This investigation is a clear sign from the authorities that they are keen to ensure that the management of asbestos in hospitals in Wales meets the necessary guidelines, with a view to guaranteeing the safety of patients, staff and contractors who work on site.
“Despite its traditional links with industrial environments, we’ve seen an increasing number of cases in which people have been exposed to the deadly material in public buildings such as schools and hospitals.
“Because of this, it is absolutely vital that lessons can be learned that should go some way to preventing people from being exposed to asbestos in the future.”