Bedbug scare spreads to other floors of government hub

Prospect union says it has raised issue with Government Property Agency, warning this is not a "trivial matter"
10 South Colonnade Photo: Government Property Unit

By Tevye Markson

14 Feb 2024

A bedbug infestation in the UK Heath Security Agency office at a government hub in east London has spread to other parts of the building.

Pest control experts were called to the 10 South Colonnade building in Canary Wharf two weeks ago after bedbugs were found on the fourth floor. The 11-storey building hosts around 6,000 civil servants, including officials in the Ministry of Justice.

The infestation has since spread to other parts of the hub, including the 10th floor which houses the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The Cabinet Office has confirmed treatment is now being carried out throughout the building to deal with the problem.

Staff working in the MHRA have been "strongly advised" not to come into the building for at least two weeks, according to reports. Officials have been told to wash clothes worn to the office at 60 degrees and advised that bedbugs are "most likely to be found in the seams of soft furnishings" in the office.

Prospect union deputy general secretary Garry Graham said the union has raised the issue with the Government Property Agency to make sure they are “taking the necessary steps to eradicate the problem and to prevent the threat”.

“This may seem like a trivial matter but for anyone who has had bedbugs they will know the deep and lasting irritation and inconvenience an infestation can cause. Any employer must take this seriously, health and safety is not just about danger to life,” he said.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: "Treatment to the original site on the fourth floor has proved successful and is continuing, small traces have been located elsewhere in the building hence treatment is now being conducted throughout the building to eradicate this issue.

"Applications are being conducted outside office hours and at the weekend so as to minimise disruption."

Read the most recent articles written by Tevye Markson - CPS recruiting for two new senior roles in leadership shakeup

Share this page