A WARD at Belhaven Community Hospital has "temporarily closed" after "bacteria" was detected in a number of taps.

Additional cleaning is ongoing at the ward, with a number of patients having been moved to Haddington's East Lothian Community Hospital.

A spokesperson for NHS Lothian was unable to state which ward had closed "due to patient confidentiality" but noted the other wards at the hospital in Dunbar remained open.

The timescale for the ward reopening was also said to be "currently under ongoing review".

It had been claimed to the Courier that Legionella bacteria – which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease – had been discovered at the hospital.

After putting this allegation to health chiefs, the following statement was issued in the name of Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director, NHS Lothian.

The statement said: “We have identified as part of our robust building management, monitoring and hygiene control measures, that there are bacteria affecting a small number of taps at Belhaven Hospital, Dunbar.

“No patients or staff are unwell as a consequence of this issue.

“We are working closely with the East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) and taking all steps required by current UK legislation and guidance to ensure that patients, visitors and staff are not placed at any increased risk of harm from the hospital environment.

“As part of NHS Lothian’s ongoing commitment to safety and hygiene, it is necessary to temporarily move a small number of patients to another ward or hospital to allow additional cleaning, disinfection and flushing of these items in accordance with national guidance.”