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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

BUPA fined £3million for care home legionnaires disease death

BUPA fined £3million following care home death [remove for online]

Health and Safety Executive v BUPA Care Homes Ltd (2018) Ipswich Crown Court, June 14

Statutory reference: S.3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA)

BUPA Care Homes Ltd has been fined £3 million after a care home resident died from Legionnaires’ disease.

The facts

  • Kenneth Ibbetson, aged 86, moved into Hutton Village Nursing Home in Essex, operated by BUPA. He was no longer able to cope at home.

  • In June 2015 he contracted Legionnaires’ disease and died.

  • The HSE investigation found that for more than a year, during which major refurbishment was carried out, BUPA failed to implement necessary control and monitoring measures required to safely manage the care home’s hot and cold water system. Those responsible for overseeing legionella controls and for taking crucial water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard.

The decision

BUPA Care homes Ltd was fined £3million plus £151,000 costs under s.3 of HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that the deceased and other residents were exposed to the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease because adequate controls were not in place. The risk was more acute in care home settings because residents were more susceptible due to their underlying health conditions. The HSE would expect those who have a duty of care to understand this and to have the necessary controls in place to manage the risk.

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