The temperature of water in public hospital neonatal wards would be capped at lukewarm and the use of a thermometer would be required when bathing babies, under new measures to be announced next week after a boy was scalded. The three-month-old boy suffered scalds to about 14 per cent of his body while being bathed at Princess Margaret Hospital on April 9. The nurse who bathed him is expected to face disciplinary action for 'human error'. The authority has set up a five-member panel to investigate the incident. The six-week period allowed for the inquiry has been halved because of public pressure and comments by Secretary for Food and Health Dr York Chow Yat-ngok that it should not take so long to get to the truth of such a straightforward incident. The authority is expected to release its findings next week. A person familiar with the situation said: 'The investigation is speeded up because the public deserves an answer. It is the right and proper thing to do.' The preliminary finding of the inquiry was that the incident involved 'human error' and the nurse was likely to face disciplinary action. The boy's parents could also take the case to the Nursing Council, which oversees nurses' professional conduct. To avoid a repeat of the blunder, the authority would introduce improvements at all public hospitals. Hot water supplied to neonatal wards would be lukewarm only, while nurses would be required to use a thermometer to test the water before bathing a baby. The authority yesterday issued guidelines to staff on safe bathing of babies. The optimal water temperature is 37 to 39 degrees Celsius, they say. 'A baby immersed into 45 degrees Celsius water for two minutes will result in a second-degree scald injury, whereas the temperature may be bearable to an adult for up to 100 minutes,' they say. Nurses are also asked to assess babies' skin condition. The injured boy, whose scalds are mainly confined to his lower body, was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital. The hospital's director of paediatric and neonatal intensive care, Dr Tsoi Nai-shun, said yesterday the boy had recovered and did not need any skin grafts. The boy is expected to be discharged in a week. Patients Rights Association spokesman Tim Pang Hung-cheong said the staff guidelines would only have a limited effect. 'What is more important is medical staff should always have the mentality to think about patients' safety. It takes time to establish such a culture,' Pang said. Joseph Lee Kok-long, the legislator representing health services, said the new measures could help prevent similar blunders but nurses should never forget the fundamental step - test the water. 'This is something basic,' he said.