Legionnaire’s disease death blast for Bupa

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Posted on Jun 6 2018 - 9:54pm by admin

His family said they had been robbed of his twilight years after painstakingly choosing what they thought was the perfect home.

Instead they were forced to watch him die after failures to monitor and flush the water system allowed the deadly bacteria to develop.

Investigators found that legionella control “fell through the cracks” as the home was being refurbished.

Now subsidiary Bupa Care Homes (BNH) faces heavy fines after admitting health and safety failings and appeared in Ipswich Crown Court yesterday for sentence.

Mr Ibbetson’s youngest daughter Caroline Peters , 54, revealed the “terrible shock” of her father’s death and said she had never received an apology.

Addressing Judge Emma Peters she said: “We wanted an apology from Bupa, an acknowledgement that our father had suffered a very aggressive, violent, painful and distressing death due to their failings.

“We didn’t get an apology, we got a date for a five-week trial.

“I feel as though Bupa have tried to detract from our father’s death in the most brutal and callous way, and even more so, from his memory.

“I am shocked and saddened that a company such as Bupa can show absolutely no regard and compassion right across the spectrum, from the management at the nursing home right through to the highest level of authority.

“My father walked into the nursing home as an elderly gentleman with his twilight years ahead of him.

“Within twelve weeks he was dead.”

Speaking of the horror of watching her father die in hospital she said: “I watched helplessly as my poor father struggled to breath, he then began to cough up blood.

“It was everywhere, there was no dignity in this open bay and this was not a place for loved ones to die.”

The court heard and existing plumbing problems and a failure to flush the problematic water system, meant the disease could develop.

This meant Mr Ibbetson’s hot tap became infected and he inhaled the bug.

The court head that senior staff within Bupa were told that addressing legionella control “needed to be a priority” – but staff were not trained.

Prosecutor Jonathan Ashley-Norman pointed to “stark warnings” from the CQC that showed staff were not trained.

He said: “On March 22, 2015 Mr Kenneth Ibbetson took up residence in the recently refurbished room in Hutton Village, he was soon entertaining other residents and was reportedly given a new lease of life.

“On June 23, 2015 he was dead and a subsequent post-mortem recorded the cause of death with what is commonly known as Legionnaires disease.

“The risk posed by Legionnaires was well known by Bupa and Bupa had their own systems to control that risk.

“Bupa knew about Legionnaires and knew steps had to be taken to prevent against it.

“Some steps were taken, but the steps taken were insufficient.”

And added: “At the heart of this case is the failure of Bupa to act on clear warnings.”

An inquest previously heard that staff at the 39-bed Hutton Village Care Home ignored risk assessments and its manager cancelled a training session as it “was too far away”.

Its jury found that the cause of his death was accidental, but did not point to the cause.

The sentencing hearing is expected to finish today.

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