Care home fined £3m after death of service user

Topics covered: Ridouts professional advice

A care provider has been fined £3M by the HSE after a service user contracted Legionnaire’s disease in June 2015.

An investigation was conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and it was found that, for more than a year, adequate measures were not in place to maintain a safe environment in the home. As a result, a fine of £3million was sentenced and the provider was ordered to pay £151,482.

Vicky Fletcher, a HSE inspector, said:-

“Mr Ibbetson and other residents were exposed to the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease because adequate controls were not in place. The risk is more acute in care home settings because residents are more susceptible due to their underlying health conditions.”

Mr Ibbetson’s untimely death comes not only as a shock to his family, but also to health and social care providers, who must now ensure they have appropriate and safe measures in place to avoid such tragic events.

In Mr Ibbetson’s case, it was found that staff responsible for overseeing Legionella controls and taking vital water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard. Going forward, service providers should see to it that all personnel are correctly and adequately trained for the safety of all service users, consequently lessening the risk of any similar incident repeating itself.

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