A COMPANY has been fined £150,000 after a Hampshire care home resident died from Legionnaires' disease.

Andy Clegg, who lived at Fordingbridge Care Home, died two weeks after he was admitted to hospital with two weeks after he was diagnosed with Legionella Pneumonia.

The 56-year-old’s death was investigated by public health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell and the Care Quality Commission.

At Southampton Magistrates' Court Sentinel Healthcare, of Fritham House, Fritham, was fined £150,000, with costs of £17,500, after pleading guilty to failing to provide care and treatment in a safe way, resulting in harm or loss.

Speaking after the hearing Jatinder Paul, a senior associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Andy's family remained determined that no stone be left unturned in establishing all the answers as to why he died so all lessons possible can be learned.

“Sadly through our work we are only too aware of the devastating consequences of Legionnaires’ disease and nothing highlights this more than Andy’s death.

“Nothing can ever make up for their loss but we hope that Andy’s family can now try to look to the future the best they can knowing that justice has been done in the criminal prosecution. However, it’s vital that all appropriate steps are taken to prevent incidents such as this from reoccurring.”

Andy Clegg, 56, died after catching bug at Fordingbridge Care Home

Mr Clegg moved into Fordingbridge Care Home in April 2017 following issues with his mental health. He died in November of that year.

His brother, Matt Clegg, 50, 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.

“Andy was a huge part of our family and we all still miss him every day.

“We have always known that nothing could ever make up for his death but as a family we owed him a duty to find out what happened to him and why.

“While we’re pleased to have secured justice for Andy, we would rather he still be part of our family.

“Our only hope now is that Andy’s death reminds Sentinel and other companies of the need to uphold safety standards at all times so others don’t have to suffer like he did.”

In March 2019 an inquest jury concluded that Andy died as a result of Legionnaires’ bacteria that he contracted at the home.

A spokesperson for Fordingbridge Care Home 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.

"In the three years that have passed since, we have worked tirelessly with all the relevant authorities to make sure nothing like this happens again. Our work to improve standards has been recognised in the latest CQC inspection report, which has graded us as ‘Good’ in all areas."