A hospital has been forced to pay almost £400,000 for failings that led to patients contracting legionnaires' disease. Two men died, and 6 other patients were infected, during the outbreak at Basildon Hospital.
A judge today fined the hospital trust and blamed managers for putting the public at risk. Serena Sandhu reports.
We need to ensure our patients are cared for in a safe environment where they do not come to any harm.
Tackling and managing known risks to hospital environments such as Legionella is part of this and I am confident, as are our health partners and the Health and Safety Executive, that we are doing this.
We continue to invest significantly in upgrading and managing our water systems to minimise the risks of any patients contracting Legionnaires Disease in the future.
– Clare Panniker, Chief Executive, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would again like to send its condolences and apologies to patients who contracted Legionnaires Disease while receiving care at Basildon University Hospital.
The Trust accepts the fine imposed today following prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.
There have been no cases of Legionnaires Disease at the Trust since 2011 and we continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive, supporting agencies and experts, to do all we can to combat Legionella.
– Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been ordered to pay fines and costs of £350,000 for failing to ensure the safety of its patients.
Basildon Hospital admitted failing to protect patients and visitors between 2006 and 2007. 74-year-old James Compton and 54-year-old Raymond Cackett died after contracting Legionnaires' disease. Six others were infected by the chronic legionella outbreak.
An Essex hospital which failed patients in a chronic legionella infestation is due to discover the size of the fine it will face.
Basildon hospital admitted failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act and bosses will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing. Judge David Turner heard the details of the case yesterday and is expected to deliver his final sentencing, likely to be a hefty fine.