Peel Health Campus nurses fall sick after mould discovery

More than a dozen nurses at Peel Health Campus are suffering symptoms associated with respiratory illness, according to a union letter obtained by Nine News Perth and WAtoday.

It comes days after what was believed to be black mould was discovered in the hospital’s air vents, triggering the closure of three operating theatres and the transfer of more than 30 patients from hospital south of Perth.

On Monday, Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Janet Reah wrote to Ramsay Health Care, which operates Peel Health Campus, demanding it organise and pay for the cost of testing and treatment.

“A significant number of ANF members have reported ongoing respiratory symptoms, including runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, congestion, and similar ailments that have persisted without relief,” the letter reads.

The mould was found in the air-conditioning of the emergency department and several theatres on Thursday during a routine inspection, resulting in restrictions being placed on the Mandurah hospital’s operating licence.

In the letter, Reah said under the Work Health and Safety Act, Ramsay should immediately “organise and pay for relevant pathology tests for all nurses and midwives employed at Peel Health Campus”.

A Peel Health Campus spokeswoman said no staff member had reported to management that they were experiencing symptoms that might be linked to the situation.

“The safety of our staff, patients and the community is always our priority, which is why we are managing this problem with an abundance of caution,” she said.

“We reinforce that any staff with concerns about their health should contact hospital management so that we can discuss their situation, and ensure that if testing is required, it is appropriate to their circumstances and under the direction of a health practitioner.”

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