Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been prosecuted for endangering patients through failing to control legionella. The Trust was fined £50,000 with costs of £38,705.60 after a joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Sussex Police identified a history of failing to manage the deadly waterborne bug.
The Trust, which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital, was investigated following an inquest into the death of a vulnerable cancer patient--eight days after having tested positive for the legionella bacteria antigen.
The inquest found the patient had died of natural causes and that although, at the time of her death, the legionella pneumonia appeared to have been successfully treated, it could not be ruled out that the infection may have hastened her death.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust pleaded guilty at Lewis Crown Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, s 3(1).
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