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Legal action considered against nursing home following Legionella death

HE family of a man who died from suspected legionnaires’ disease are considering legal action against the care home in a bid to find out how he contracted the lethal illness.

Andy Clegg died in November 2017 nearly two weeks after he was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital from Fordingbridge Care Home having been diagnosed with legionella pneumonia, a complication arising from the legionella bacteria.

Public Health England and the Care Quality Commission have launched an investigation into the 56-year-old’s death, but his family have instructed Irwin Mitchell solicitors with a view to taking legal action.

Public health lawyer Jatinder Paul said: “While the family appreciate that a thorough investigation has to take place, it is upsetting for them that more than four months after Andy’s death, they are still waiting for answers.

“They have many unanswered questions relating to Andy’s death and, following our instruction, we are determined to help them get the answers they deserve.

“Legionnaires’ disease is a serious illness which, as this case demonstrates, can have a huge impact on those who contract it.

“I would encourage anyone else who has been affected by illness at the Fordingbridge Care Home to see their GP at the earliest available opportunity. I would also like to speak with them as they may be able to help with our investigations.”

Mr Clegg lived in Southampton, but moved to the Sentinel Healthcare-run Fordingbridge Care Home in April 2017 to receive help for mental health difficulties.

Mr Clegg’s sister Joanne Denyer, 54, of Southampton, said: “Andy was such a loving and generous person and to see him in hospital in such pain and suffering was heart-breaking. The pain he suffered because of his illness is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

His brother, Matt, 47, also of Southampton, added: “Our family always did everything together and we have been left devastated and angry by Andy’s death.

“We feel we deserve to know more about how Andy contracted legionnaires’ disease and if more could have been done to keep him safe.”

A spokesman for Fordingbridge Care Home said: “We were deeply saddened by Mr Clegg’s passing, and our sincere condolences are with his family and loved ones.

“The health and wellbeing of the people we care for is always our absolute priority. As such, our water system is regularly monitored in conjunction with a specialist water treatment company.

“As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we acted immediately to undertake a complete chlorination of our water system by our specialist contractor.

“Over recent months, and working in partnership with the Care Quality Commission and Public Health England, we have taken extensive measures to make sure the water at the home is safe.

“We will continue to work closely with all of the relevant authorities to fully investigate what took place, and we will take any further action needed to safeguard the health of residents.”

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