A SURGERY has had to relocate as bacteria contaminated the water.

The surgery at the Witham Health Centre remains closed from December 30, as legionella bacteria was found in one of the taps.

Legionella, which should not be confused with Legionnaires' Disease, was found in one of the non-patient areas.

The dental service and other healthcare providers within the centre are open, and the surgery is running out of the nearby Douglas Grove Surgery.

A spokesman for NHS Property Services, landlord for the Witham Health Centre in Mayland Road, said: “We can confirm Witham Health Centre remains open.

“As a landlord, we routinely conduct water testing across our estate and at Witham Health Centre we found positive testing for legionella bacteria on a sample from one tap in a non-patient area of the centre.

“In line with best practice guidelines we immediately arranged for the water system at the building to be fully flushed, cleaned and disinfected by a specialist contractor, allowing the majority of health services to continue to be provided at the centre.

"The GP practice at the site, Dr PK Mohanty & Partner, has opted to temporarily relocate to Douglas Grove Surgery until mid-January while further water testing is concluded."

They said all other patients who do not require the surgery should attend appointments as normal.

A notice on the surgery's website says it will be closed for maintenance but the phone number to make appointments remains the same, and patients' calls will be redirected.