Thursday, 4 October 2012

Basildon Hospital Prosecution For Careless Legionella Monitoring

A hospital in Essex will be taken to court after they were alleged to have failed to stop people being exposed to legionella bacteria.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is prosecuting Basildon Hospital under the Health and Safety at Work Act, with the single charge from the HSE relating to a case of legionella at the hospital between February 2004 and December 2010.
Official figures show there have been 13 cases of patients catching the legionella bacteria since 2002.
Chief Executive of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust, Clare Panniker, said the hospital had spent £3m and introduced a number of changes in the past decade in an attempt to control legionella. She said:
"The trust has not had any cases of Legionnaire's Disease since 2011 and we will continue to work with the HSE and other experts to do all we can to combat Legionella. As new chief executive, I will be reviewing the leadership structure to ensure we have the right experience at board level."
She said that the report concluded that the current risk of contracting legionella at the hospital was about "one in a million".
The prosecution centres on an alleged breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which refers to the duty of employers to protect non employees from "risks to their health or safety" and the first hearing in the case is expected to take place at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court at a later date.

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