Sentinel Healthcare care home fined after Legionnaires’ disease death

Andy Clegg, 56, had been staying at Sentinel Healthcare's Fordingbridge Care Home in Hampshire when he was exposed to Legionella bacteria. He died in Salisbury District Hospital with complications on 5th November 2017. Mr Clegg was admitted to the home in April 2017 with mental health problems.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represented Mr Clegg's family, said he had been exposed to "vast quantities" of Legionella which was found on taps and the shower in his room. Sentinel Healthcare, which runs six homes in Hampshire, did not accept responsibility for the death until a coroner's inquest concluded Mr Clegg had contracted Legionella at the home, the lawyers said.

Mr Clegg's brother, Matt Clegg, said, "While three years has passed since Andy's death, the hurt and pain we continue to feel is as strong now as it was when he died. Andy was such a loving and caring man. It wasn't an easy decision for him to go into Fordingbridge but we thought in doing so he would receive the best possible care. However, just a few months later he died."

He said Sentinel Healthcare's initial refusal to accept responsibility had "added to the pain" and hoped the company would improve safety in the future.

Sentinel Healthcare pleaded guilty at Southampton Magistrates' Court to charges of causation of harm and death to Mr Clegg. They were fined £150,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £17,500 and a £170 victim surcharge.

The company had previously reached an undisclosed settlement with Mr Clegg's family.

A spokesperson for Sentinel Healthcare said, "We accept the findings of the court and apologise wholeheartedly for the events that led to the passing of Mr Clegg. Our thoughts remain with his loved ones and we hope that today's findings offer them some closure. While the ultimate responsibility remained with us, the court has noted that we were let down by our advisors and contractors and this contributed to the events which led up to this tragic accident."

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