Legionella Control London – The Importance of Appointing a Competent ‘Responsible Person’


Southwark Crown Court heard how a man was admitted to St Christopher’s Hospice on 9 July 2012. On the 12 August 2012 he was taken to a nearby hospital where he died a few days later. The deceased was subsequently found to have died of Legionnaires’ disease contracted during his stay at the Hospice.

In December 2012, an orderly worker at the Hospice contracted Legionnaires’ disease while carrying out her duties and spent 18 days in a coma before making a recovery.

After the hearing HSE inspector Matt Raine said: “The risks of legionella are well known in the healthcare industry. The Hospice had implemented some measures in an attempt to control legionella. However they failed to appoint a competent person to manage the risk of legionella in the Hospice’s hot and cold water system”.

“The failures in the management of legionella led to conditions in hot and cold water system that favoured the proliferation of legionellae. It was entirely foreseeable that there would be risk of contracting legionnaires disease for patients and employees working at this hospice.”

St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) and 2(1)of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge, and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

If you would like a review of your current practices please contact 3C for guidance at: enquiries@3cet.com or telephone 01252 873656 where a member of our team will be pleased to advise you.