Water Compliance and Legionella Monitoring – The Need to Outsource

“Brentwood care home legionnaires’ death: manager was too busy to do necessary training”

In our industry, it is always unfortunate when an incident that could have been avoided results in a loss of life. While thankfully rare, seeing such stories in the news is an ever-present reminder as to why responsible persons should remain vigilant, or seek outside help when it comes to monitoring your water.

Taken from Essex Live

The manager of a care home where a resident contracted legionnaires’ disease and died did not do the necessary training because she was too busy. 

Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, was staying at the BUPA-run Hutton Village Care Home when he contracted the disease and died in June 2015, the jury inquest into his death heard yesterday (Monday, October 3).

Mr Ibbetson had moved into the home on March 27, 2015 and on June 20 he was admitted to Basildon Hospital, generally unwell.

He was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia, an inflammation in the lungs, and was started on a programme of antibiotics.

But his condition deteriorated and on June 23 he died.

The Health and Safety Executive found the bacteria in Mr Ibbetson’s ensuite bathroom in an investigation carried out after his death, the inquest heard.

(Care Home Manager) Sue Green said “sheer work load” meant water checks were not carried out as regularly as they should have been.

She continued: “At one point the main office was in a bedroom and the files were on a bed.

“That’s how disruptive it got. It was a very busy six months.”

As with many cases of Legionella seen in the UK, this is not a case of malicious intent but several unfortunate circumstances that came together and resulted in the death of an individual.

Despite the circumstances, in many cases such as this it’s possible that the guilty party could be charged with corporate manslaughter, an offence resulting in a fine typically ranging between £180,000 to £2,000,000, although there is no maximum amount.

Industries where Legionella is most commonly found are regularly those areas where the workload is highest, such as working with children or the elderly. For responsible persons working in those industries providing the highest standard of care to those you are responsible for is a high priority, but if there are services you cannot provide, outsourcing is the most effective course of action.

As experts in Water Compliance, Legionella monitoring and risk assessments, Water Compliance Solutions have been providing our services to a variety of different industries across the country. In addition to our work on sites, we always endeavor to train members of staff within the business to properly assess any risks in the future.

If your business or premises requires water treatment or water monitoring services, but you either do not have the time or require the training to manage this in house, contact us today to see what we can do for you.