Parts of the Feathers hotel in Ludlow – which was at the centre of a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease last year – remain closed after Legionella bacteria was found for a second time nearly two months ago.
Shropshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) met to discuss the hotel last week and decided more work was needed before the kitchen and two of the bedrooms could re-open. The Feathers’ remaining 38 bedrooms and its bar area are understood to still be operating.
Matthew Aldridge, health protection team manager at Shropshire Council, said: “Further works at the Feathers Hotel are still ongoing and the hotel won’t reopen until the relevant assurances have been provided.”
Elaine Brown from Merseyside died in August 2017 after suffering a stroke as a result of Legionnaires’ disease, which emerged just days after she stayed at the hotel with her husband Graham.
A second guest at the three-AA-star 40-bedroom property had also contracted the disease last April but made a full recovery.
The Feathers, which was built in 1619, was put up for sale for £2.65m in January. It is being sold by the Ceney family who are now planning to retire having bought the property in 2002 for around £1.75m.
Legionella organisms are commonly found within water in the natural environment and when levels of the bacteria are elevated in water supply systems there is a risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease within 14 days of exposure.
The council and PHE released a statement in May that confirmed the measures taken to prevent any further incidents.
It said: “Following routine sampling of the water system at the Feathers Hotel by Shropshire Council’s regulatory services team, elevated levels of Legionella have been detected in the water system at the hotel.
“Working with Public Health England, a joint decision has been made to implement urgent measures to reduce Legionella levels in the water system and prevent any risk to staff and guests who use the hotel.
“This includes a temporary voluntary closure of parts of the hotel until further precautionary works can be carried out.”