Bupa has been fined £3m after an elderly resident died from Legionnaires’ disease at Hutton Village Nursing Home in Brentwood, Essex.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, died three months after moving into the home in March 2015.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Bupa had failed to implement the necessary control and monitoring measures required to safely manage the home’s hot and cold water system for more than a year during refurbishment works.
It also found those responsible for overseeing Legionella controls and for taking crucial water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard.
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.”
Joan Elliott, managing director for Bupa Care Services, said: “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.”