A care provider has been ordered to pay £167,670 at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court, after a 56-year-old man died from legionella disease while in their care.
Sentinel Health Care Limited, which runs the Fordingbridge Care Home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire pleaded guilty to two charges, firstly failing to provide safe care and treatment, resulting in avoidable harm to Andrew Clegg while he was resident at Fordingbridge Care Home.
The company has also pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care and treatment exposing other service users, to a significant risk of avoidable harm.
Sentinel Health Care Limited was fined £75,000 for each charge and ordered to pay £17,500 prosecution costs, plus a £170 victim surcharge at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court on 26 November in a prosecution brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
This is the first time CQC has used its prosecution powers against a provider in a case where a person has contracted Legionella.
Fordingbridge Care Home is a home for people needing nursing or personal care.
Rebecca Bauers, CQC’s head of inspection for Adult Social Care, said: ‘This is a distressing case and our sympathies are with those affected by Mr Clegg’s death.
‘Mr Clegg had every right to expect safe care at the Fordingbridge Care Home and Sentinel Care Services Limited has a specific legal duty to follow the Health and Safety Act to ensure the home was safe for people.
‘In this case, their negligence allowed Legionella bacteria to develop and grow in the water supply putting people living there at risk.
‘The Health and Safety Executive has very clear guidance on the management of Legionella in care homes and this was clearly not followed.
‘Where we find any provider has put people using its services at risk of harm, we take action to hold them to account and protect people.
‘We hope this prosecution reminds care providers that they must always ensure people’s safety and manage risks to their wellbeing.’
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