Hospitals: Air Pollution

Health written question – answered on 4th February 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) if he will issue guidance on the implementation of EN 13779:2007 and indoor air quality in hospitals;

(2) what he expects all NHS hospitals in England to meet the requirements of EN 13779:2007 on indoor air quality;

(3) how many NHS hospitals in England currently meet the requirements of EN 13779:2007 on indoor air quality.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Department's guidance document, ‘Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised ventilation for healthcare premises’ sets out guidance for minimum standards with respect to ventilation strategy with health care premises. HTM 03-01 was published just prior to the publication of BS EN 13779:2007. This will be updated to reflect current standards when it is reviewed. HTM 03-01 forms part of the list of guidance currently due to be considered for review.

There are currently no plans requiring national health service hospitals to implement BS EN 13779:2007 in a wholesale manner. Health care premises will currently utilise the guidance provided within HTM 03-01 to assist in the determination of indoor air quality standards. The hospital will select the relevant primary and secondary filtration dependent upon the air quality of the local environment and upon the requirements of the clinical area that is served by the air-handling unit in question to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Adoption of the filtration standards required by BS EN 13779:2007 is a decision for local NHS services after making an assessment of the risks involved.

The Department does not collect data in relation to indoor air quality within NHS hospitals.

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