PATIENTS in East Berkshire could have been affected by a hospital listeria outbreak that has so far killed five people in England.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, which looks after Ascot’s Heatherwood hospital, Slough’s Wexham Park and Camberley’s Frimley Park Hospital, confirmed it had an outbreak at one of its care centres after similar reports from across the country.

So far, one patient from one of the Trust’s three hospitals has been affected but the Trust will not say which one encountered the outbreak.

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In a statement, the Trust announced: “When we were informed by Public Health England (PHE) of a potential problem with some pre-packed sandwiches supplied by the Good Food Chain Company on Sunday 26 May we immediately removed all products from this supplier from our hospitals.

“As soon as the Trust was aware of PHE’s findings and as a result of our own investigations, one patient in one of our hospitals was subsequently found to be affected. Appropriate treatment started immediately and the patient continues to be closely monitored by our clinical teams.

“So far there have been no additional cases identified at any of our hospitals.

“We continue to maintain a high level of vigilance and surveillance for any other potential cases that may occur over the next few weeks until the incubation period for listeria has elapsed.”

Reports suggests nine patients have been affected in total by the outbreak of listeria, which is a type of bacteria which can infect people through contaminated food.

Five fatalities have been confirmed at hospitals near Manchester, Aintree, Derby and Leicester.

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The Good Food Chain Company reportedly distributes salads and sandwiches to 43 NHS Trusts.

This includes the Trust which looks after the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, but no listeria outbreak has been announced at this site.

The News has contacted the Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust.