01 May Hospital fined £300k after Legionnaires’ disease death
The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath has been fined £300,000 for health and safety breaches after a patient died from Legionnaires’ disease.
Terence Brooks, 68, caught the infection in 2015 while being treated for cancer.
Bristol Crown Court heard that the hospital had been warned to update plans of its water distribution system to reduce the risk of the disease.
But the work had not been carried out.
As a result there was no monitoring of legionella in the annexe of the William Budd ward, where Mr. Brooks was being cared for.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Susan Chivers said: “RUH had measures in place to prevent and control the risk to its patients from exposure to legionella from its water systems, but these were ineffective due to the trust not having accurate knowledge of the layout of those water systems.”
“It is essential that organisations review their risk control measures whenever there is reason to suspect that they are no longer valid or when there are changes to a water system.”
In a statement made after the hearing, Mr Brooks’ family said: “The family are pleased that the HSE have pursued this and that as a result changes have been made at the RUH. Our hope is that no other family will suffer as we have.”
The hospital’s defence barrister apologised to the family and said that the hospital accepted work on updating drawings should have been done more quickly.
It is not the first time a cancer patient has died of Legionnaires’ disease at the hospital.
In 2004 37-year-old Daryl Eyles caught the disease.
He had taken a shower shortly before he was due to be discharged, caught a fever and died a week later.