Hull Care Home Fined for Failing to Report Legionella Contamination

A care home in North Hull has been given a £2500 fine after it failed to submit information about Legionella found in water samples taken from the property.

The fines were given by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to Molescroft Nursing Home (Holdings) Ltd when it was found that five of nine water samples taken in September 2013 came back positive for the presence of legionella bacteria. Although the care home did take steps to counteract the bacteria, the CQC states that the lack of reporting the situation breaches regulation 18 of the Health and Social Care Act, leading to the fines.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, the CQC’s regional director for the North, said: “Every provider has a legal duty to ensure it meets national care standards to ensure residents receive the service they are entitled to expect.

“Failure to notify the CQC of serious issues or events that have the potential to impact directly on the safety and welfare of residents is unacceptable.

“Molescroft Nursing Home (Holdings) Ltd has now paid the fine and we will continue to monitor the home closely as part of our regulatory responsibilities.”

Thankfully the contaminated water did not result in any outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease, a particularly deadly form of pneumonia that can affect anyone but is much more likely to infect older people such as those being cared for at the home.

Molescroft Care Home released the following statement after the fines were paid:

There was no outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, or any other disease, at Holy Name Care Home.

“Holy Name is a new care home and, at the relevant time, some unoccupied areas had not all been fully commissioned, which led to some routine tests for Legionella coming back positive.

“The tests were conducted as a proactive measure and were carried out by a professional third-party company upon the home’s request.

“The system was professionally chlorinated at the earliest possibility in order to kill any traces of the disease, which is the appropriate measure to undertake.

“Health and safety at the home is taken very seriously and areas are regularly monitored and cleaned as required within the home’s cleaning schedule.

“The home was fined by the CQC for two technical breaches of reporting requirements under the Health and Social Care Act.

“Both fines have now been paid and neither fine related to the presence of Legionnaires’ disease, or any other disease, and this was reflected in the low value of the fines.

“For absolute clarity, at no time were the residents of the home at any risk and the home has always acted in an appropriate manner.”

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