BASILDON hospital has been fined over £350,000 following the deaths of two patients with Legionairres’ disease.
James Compton, 74, from Billericay, died in 2007 and Raymond Cackett, 54, from South Ockendon, died in 2010 after contracting Legionnaires’ disease at Basildon Hospital.
Six other patients were infected at the hospital – one of 14 named by NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s report into abnormally high numbers of deaths – during the same period.
The hospital has admitted failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Bosses appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing.
Afterwards, the hospital issued a statement.
A spokesperson said: “Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would again like to send its condolences and apologies to patients who contracted Legionnaires Disease while receiving care at Basildon University Hospital.
“The Trust accepts the fine imposed today following prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.
“There have been no cases of Legionnaires Disease at the Trust since 2011 and we continue to work with the Health and Safety Executive, supporting agencies and experts, to do all we can to combat Legionella.
Clare Panniker, Chief Executive, said: “We need to ensure our patients are cared for in a safe environment where they do not come to any harm.
“Tackling and managing known risks to hospital environments such as Legionella is part of this and I am confident, as are our health partners and the Health and Safety Executive, that we are doing this.
“We continue to invest significantly in upgrading and managing our water systems to minimise the risks of any patients contracting Legionnaires Disease in the future.”
Healthwatch Thurrock has also commented on the outcome.
A spokesperson said: “We have been informed of the outcome of yesterday’s sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court for breaches of Health and Safety.
“Healthwatch Thurrock has been aware of the work being undertaken at BTUH to improve the Health and Safety, the patient experience and the delivery of service.
“We have been actively involved in this work by carrying out visits and will be reporting our findings to the Executive Board at the hospital as well as Thurrock’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
“Our condolences go out to the patients and families that these breaches affected and would like to reassure the residents of Thurrock that we will continue our work of independently monitoring the hospital and ensure any concerns raised are reported appropriately.