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  1. ITV Report

Bupa fined £3 million after Legionnaires' disease death

  • Click below to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson...

The private health firm BUPA has been fined £3 million after the death of a resident at one of their care homes in Essex from Legionnaires' disease.

Kenneth with his family Credit: ITV News Anglia

Retired businessman Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, moved into Hutton Village care home in Brentwood back in March 2015. He was taken to hospital three months later and diagnosed with pneumonia. His condition rapidly deteriorated and he died three days later. A post mortem revealed he'd died of Legionnaires' disease.

His daughters outside Ipswich Crown Court today. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation. 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 pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Today on the steps of Ipswich Crown Court his daughter's said whilst they were pleased with the sentencing they still would like an apology from BUPA. The healthcare giant were fined £3 million plus costs of £151,482.

Meanwhile BUPA said they have fully supported the Health and Safety Executive with their investigation and that this was an isolated case. Since the incident they had installed automated systems to review, report and measure compliance activity and to ensure colleagues were fully trained.

Our thoughts are with Mr Ibbetson’s family and friends, and we are deeply sorry. Our residents’ wellbeing always comes first. We’ve made a number of improvements across all of our care homes to make sure colleagues’ training is kept up to date, this is important to offering the best care for our residents.”

– Joan Elliott, Managing Director for Bupa Care Services