BUPA fined £3m folllowing death of elderly resident.

BUPA care homes fined £3m after the death of one of it residence. The HSE have reported on their investigation below.

A care provider has been fined following the death of a resident at an Essex nursing home after he contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, died three months after moving into Hutton Village Nursing Home, which is operated by BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mr Ibbetson had moved into the care home in March 2015 when he was no longer able to cope at home. In June 2015 Mr Ibbetson contracted Legionnaires’ disease, a serious waterborne form of pneumonia, and later died in Basildon Hospital on 23 June 2015.

An investigation into Mr Ibbetson’s death was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The investigation found that for more than a year, during which time major refurbishment works were carried out, BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd failed to implement the necessary control and monitoring measures required to safely manage their hot and cold water system. It also found those responsible for overseeing legionella controls and for taking crucial water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard.

BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd of Bridge House, Outwood Lane, Leeds, pleaded to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company has today been fined £3m and ordered to pay costs of £151,482.

Mr Ibbetson’s daughter Caroline Peters told the court: “Our father’s tragic and untimely death was a terrible shock to me and my two sisters. We had carefully selected Bupa Nursing Home at Hutton Village, expecting that a leading health care company could be trusted with our father’s health and safety. (His death) shouldn’t have happened.

“The evidence (of)…non-conformities and lack of managerial training was shocking and depressing and brought on feelings of utter despair for our family.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Vicky Fletcher said: “It is heart-breaking to think Kenneth contracted Legionnaires’ a matter of weeks after moving into the Hutton Village Care Home. His family have been left devastated by his sudden death.

“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. We would expect those who have a duty of care to understand this and have the necessary controls in place to manage the risk.”

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Legionella Experts Qube Environmental Campaign for greater awareness of the risk relating to Legionnaires’ disease in care homes following BUPA £3m fine.

Qube Environmental Legionella Experts are pledging to provide a free seminar for Care Home Owners following the £3m fine given to BUPA after a resident Kenneth Ibbetson 86, died from contracting Legionnaires’ disease a matter of weeks after moving into the Ipswich care home.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE principal inspector Vicky Fletcher said: “It is heart-breaking to think Kenneth contracted Legionnaires’ a matter of weeks after moving into the Hutton Village Care Home. His family have been left devastated by his sudden death. Mr Ibbetson and other residents were exposed to the risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease because adequate controls were not in place. We would expect those who have a duty of care to understand this and have the necessary controls in place to manage the risk.”
This fine comes only a few weeks after The Sentinel reported that locally Legionella bacteria had been discovered at a Stoke elder care village West End Village, Stoke, and the attached offices of Staffordshire Housing Association.
Judith Richardson Qube Director said that “All organisations have a legal duty to seek expert advice to ensure that they control the risks arising from Legionnaires’ disease. Care providers like residential and nursing care homes must be especially vigilant and robust in terms of the systems they have in place as residents are more susceptible due to possible underlying health conditions.”
The Qube are campaigning for greater awareness of the risks relating to Legionnaires’ disease and particularly in the care environment.

Judith Richardson Director said “we have ran similar free seminars for other industry groups and have found them to be very well received. By proposing to offer a free seminar for the local Care Home Community we hope that we can highlight the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and help prevent a similar death occurring in Staffordshire”

Each year there are numerous Legionella outbreaks and they can result in serious illness and death. “Whilst ensuring public health is always the highest priority when dealing with an outbreak, Legionnaires’ Disease is also major risk to any business.”
Latest Government data shows 448 cases of potentially fatal Legionnaires’ Disease in 2017.
To register an interest in attending a free seminar please contact judith@qube-uk.co.k or telephone 01782 791775.

CDC findings show thousands of pool related illnesses!

Something to think about before you go on holiday! Chron has written an article about the CDC’s latest findings.

Do you and your family jump into the pool right after you check into your hotel on summer vacation? If so, you better be careful.

A new study from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2000 and 2014, more than 27,000 people got sick from being in “recreational water,” and eight of them died. The CDC defines recreational water as swimming pools, hot tubs and water parks.

The agency identified a total of almost 500 separate “outbreaks” of pool-related disease, with an outbreak defined as two or more people getting the same illness from the same source at about the same time.

“Hotels (i.e., hotels, motels, lodges, or inns) were the leading setting associated with 157 (32%) of the 493 outbreaks,” the report said. And the busiest months for outbreaks were June through August.

Of the 157 outbreaks that happened at hotels, the most significant identified cause – 43 percent — was a bug called Pseudomonas, which results in ailments known as “hot tub rash” and “swimmer’s ear.”  Thirty-one percent of the hotel outbreaks were attributed to Legionella, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease — especially prevalent in hot tub and spa outbreaks — caused most of the deaths covered in the study. And 18 percent of the outbreaks came from Cryptosporidium, which causes gastrointestinal illness.

For the most part, these outbreaks shouldn’t happen if the hotel is doing its job in chlorinating the pool water.

“Chlorine is the primary barrier to the transmission of pathogens in treated recreational water,” the CDC said. “At CDC-recommended concentrations of at least 1 ppm, free available chlorine inactivates most pathogens within minutes, although extremely chlorine-tolerant Cryptosporidium can survive for more than 7 days. Cryptosporidium is transmitted when a diarrheal incident (i.e., a high-risk Cryptosporidium contamination event) occurs in the water and the contaminated water is ingested.”

Best advice: Don’t swallow pool water. And if your kids have diarrhoea, don’t let them in the water.

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Legionella Bacteria Confirmed at Stoke-On-Trent Flats Complex

The Stoke Sentinel has reported on a recent case of Legionella bacteria found in Stoke’s West End Village.

Tests are being carried out after Legionella bacteria was discovered in the hot water supplies at a flats complex housing hundreds of residents.

The bacteria – which causes legionnaires’ disease – was discovered at Stoke’s West End Village and the neighbouring HQ of Staffordshire Housing Association (SHA), on London Road, last week.

SHA has written to the complex’s 300-plus residents to stress that the problem is confined to the development’s communal areas which include a cafe and restaurant, hairdressers, gym, meeting rooms and a hydrotherapy pool.

It led to the temporary closure of the restaurant and cafe and hairdressers and the gym continues to have no hot showers.

Now tests are continuing at the complex until Thursday, May 17 as environmental health continues to monitor the situation.

Sue Owen, aged 66, who has lived at West End Village for seven years, said: “We had a letter telling us what was going on and it hasn’t affected the flats. They have done some work and the businesses were up and running after a day.”

SHA has confirmed that ‘evidence of some Legionella bacteria in the communal hot water system’ was discovered on May 3 following routine tests.

Director of housing service Tim Sheail said: “We were advised to shutdown hot water supplies to the communal areas until the problem could be eradicated.

“This did not affect individual apartments within West End Village but involved the hot water supplies to the kitchens and toilets in the offices and the communal areas of the village.

“We immediately isolated the hot water taps in the affected areas, informed staff and delivered letters to all of the residents explaining what was happening. We used a specialist water hygiene company to treat the affected hot water cylinder the following day.

“We have advised residents that the treatment and re-testing process should mean the hot water system will be back to normal by the end of next week. It takes a few days because it involves a laboratory testing process and the bacteria can take a few days to incubate.

“We have installed alternative forms of hot water heating to the restaurant kitchen, in consultation with environmental health, and we have provided alternative hot water to the hairdressers so their business would not be disrupted.

“This was all completed within 24 hours of shutting off the hot water supplies. We informed the gym manager on the day we found the problem and provided a notice for external customers explaining that hot water showers would not be available while we resolve this problem.

“Staff have been available to answer any residents’ concerns and most have been reassured by the fact that this did not affect their own hot water system.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has inspected the hot water supply to the cafe and restaurant and hairdressers and is happy with the temporary arrangement.

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NHS Trust Fined £300,000 After Exposing Patients to Legionella Risk

The HSE has reported on a recent investigation they have undertaken.

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £300,000 after failing to control the risk to patients from exposure to legionella bacteria in its water systems.

Bristol Crown Court heard how, in July 2015, Mr Terence Brooks, a 68-year-old patient at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, died from legionnaires’ disease. Following Mr Brooks’ death, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation which found that the Trust had failed to put in place all of the necessary precautions to minimise the risk to patients in the annex to the William Budd ward from exposure to legionella.

HSE’s investigation revealed that the annex to the William Budd Ward is on a separate loop of the hospital’s water system to that which supplies the main ward. This important fact had not been recognised by the Trust from the opening of the annex in 2009 until Mr Brooks’ death in July 2015. This failure meant the required temperature checks and tests for the presence of legionella bacteria in the water had not been carried out in the annex over this period.

Tests carried out after Mr Brooks’ death revealed problems with water temperatures in the annex and legionella bacteria were found in water samples taken from outlets in all five isolation suites in the annex to the William Budd ward.

The strain of legionella bacteria which caused Mr Brooks’ death was not the same as that found in the water system. However, HSE concluded there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the Trust for exposing patients to risks from legionella bacteria in its water systems.

Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,451.78.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Susan Chivers said: “Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia which can be fatal and people who are being treated in hospital are especially susceptible to infection. That is what makes RUH’s failings in legionella management all the more concerning.

“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.”

“All organisations have a responsibility to manage their water systems to protect people from the risk of legionella infection. 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.” After the hearing, Terence Brooks’ family gave the following statement: “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.”

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Could car washes in the UK harbour Legionnaires’ disease?

A medical expert who advises the Department of Health has warned that car washes in the UK could harbour Legionnaires’ disease.

The warning came after a study found two men became seriously ill with Legionnaires’ disease after inhaling infected water droplets from separate car washes in Italy.

According to UK microbiologist Dr Tom Makin the same risk applies in the UK.

He told MailOnline: “Legionella bacteria grow in large numbers in water systems that get warm and remain idle for extensive periods of time, such as drive-through car wash systems.

“Car washes are capable of generating the right sized aerosols that can be inhaled into the lungs where the Legionella bacteria cause infection, such as pneumonia.”

Legionnaires’ disease affects around 500 people a year in England alone and is fatal in approximately one in 10 cases.

According to the Health & Safety Executive, employers should understand the health risks associated with legionella, and take appropriate precautions.

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Legionella Bacteria discovered at Margate Hospital

Another case of Legionella bacteria being discovered in healthcare premises, Kent Online has reported on the story of the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital – East Kent Hospital below.

A potentially deadly bacteria was discovered in 11 water outlets at a Kent hospital after a patient contracted Legionnaires’ disease.

The East Kent Hospitals Trust says the man was exposed to Legionella pneumophila at the QEQM Hospital in Margate in September.

Emergency meetings were held and anyone who had shared a ward with the patient was contacted by staff, although no other positive cases were reported.

Tests were also carried out on four wards and the Legionella bacteria was discovered in 11 water outlets.

Five of them were on Minster Ward, where the patient had been staying.

A further four were found on Seabathing Ward and two on Bishopstone Ward.

The water-borne bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease when it infects people’s lungs, but can also cause milder infections similar to flu.

It is associated with large buildings and complex water supply systems, where the bacteria can have the right conditions to spread if it goes unchecked.

The news from the Margate hospital follows a similar scare in August 2009, when a patient died and five others had to be treated after contracting the bacteria at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

East Kent NHS spokesman Steve James said: “One patient admitted to the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital was diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia in September.

“We have identified all patients who may have been exposed, and there have been no further cases.

“Legionella pneumophila is transmitted in water and can cause pneumonia or a flu-like illness.

“The incidence of Legionnaires’ disease depends upon the degree of water reservoir contamination, the intensity of a person’s exposure to that water, and the susceptibility of the person.

“The most common route of transmission is through aerosolisation from water outlets such as shower heads.

“We routinely monitor the hospital water systems, and showers in the hospital wing where the patient was admitted have had special filters fitted for over a year, specifically to guard against the infection.

“We have tested this wing of the hospital extensively and are undertaking some remedial work where necessary, such as removing any redundant pipework and replacing some taps. Hyperchlorination will also be carried out when the work is complete.”

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Five Companies Facing Health And Safety Prosecution Following Edinburgh Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Following the Edinburgh Legionnaires’ outbreak in 2012 five companies are facing prosecution. The BBC has reported on the accused.

Five companies face prosecution over breaches of health and safety legislation following an outbreak of legionnaires disease in Edinburgh.

Four people died and 92 cases were identified during the outbreak in 2012.

The source of the disease was never identified.

North British Distillery, Macfarlan Smith, Ashland Industries, Pera Services and Chemtech Consultancy are accused of exposing people to the risk of legionnaires between 2009 and 2013.

The charges all relate to the maintenance and cleaning of cooling towers on premises around Wheatfield Road.

Sheriff Alison Stirling was told the trial could last up to 12 weeks.

A further hearing will be held on 25 January next year. No date was set for the trial.

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Engineering Company Fined for Legionella Non-Compliance!

Engineering firm fined for non-compliance! Are you fully compliant? A local Dudley news site has reported on the trial.

A Dudley engineering firm has been fined £10,000 after it failed to prevent the risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria in a tunnel wash at its powder coating plant.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that De-Met Colourcoat Limited, based at Grazebrook Industrial Park, Peartree Lane, had no controls in place to manage the risk legionella bacteria in the water system.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching two sections of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court and was ordered to pay costs of £5,067.68 in addition to the fine.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Cooper, said: “This was a case where the company failed to have any controls whatsoever for the management of legionella at the powder coating plant.

“Without identifying and putting in place suitable control measures there is a real risk of Legionnaires’ disease from tunnel washers.

“It is therefore of the upmost importance to control these risks by introducing appropriate measures.”

A spokesman for De-Met Colourcoat Ltd told the News: “Whilst the company respects the decision of the court and fully recognises its culpability in not having the required risk assessment paperwork in place, we remain proud of the high standards of operational health and safety we maintain at the business.

“Tests for the presence of legionella before and since the breach have proven negative and at no stage was there any evidence that Legionella was present in the tunnel wash.

“Since the breach, we have comprehensively reviewed health and safety policies and management continues to work hard to keep our employees safe at work.”

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Hotel Pennsylvania Trip Advisor Review!

Noticed this review on Trip Advisor not the kind of review you would want for your hotel!

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