Hospital fine over Legionnaires'

04 Sep 2013

An Essex hospital is due to be fined heavily after two patients died following contraction of Legionnaires' disease. Six other patients at Basildon Hospital were also infected.

The two fatalities were 74-year-old James Compton, of Billericay, and 54-year-old Raymond Cackett, from South Ockendon.

The hospital admitted failing to protect patients and visitors between February 28, 2004 and December 31, 2010.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the hospital fought Legionnaires' for up to 15 years although insufficient steps were taken for public protection despite the death in 2002 of a 77-year-old, George Bate.

Egbert Van Nuil, Lyn Kilshaw, Roy Leech, Joyce Limbert, Francis Nutt and Verona Hughes contracted the disease between 2006 and 2007, the court was told. A new chief executive was appointed in 2011 and there have been no infections at the hospital since then.

Basildon Hospital is also due to be sentenced over a separate case involving an elderly patient being injured when falling from a window in 2012.

Legionnaires' disease is a serious lung infection brought about by legionella bacteria which is common in water systems.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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