Basildon hospital Legionnaires' patient death probe

Legionella bacteria This is the third death linked to Legionnaires' at the hospital since 2002

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The death of a patient with Legionnaires' disease at an Essex hospital is being investigated by the police and Health and Safety Executive.

Basildon University Hospital confirmed the patient died on Saturday.

Managers said they had started their own investigation when the diagnosis was made a week earlier.

In 2010 there were three cases of Legionnaires' at the hospital; one man died and two others successfully responded to antibiotics.

The Health Protection Agency and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed of the latest case.

The death is the third in nine years at Basildon University Hospital linked to the legionella bacteria.

The hospital was fined £25,000 over the death of a man who had it in 2002.

Legionnaires' disease was also linked to the death of a male patient in 2007 and to the death of another man in March last year though inquests into both cases have yet to take place.

The hospital said in a statement last year that since the first case of Legionnaires' disease at the hospital in 2002, it had spent £2m on remedial works to its plumbing infrastructure.

At the time it said the hospital followed a "strict regime of continual chemical dosing, thermal disinfections and comprehensive monitoring of the extensive water distribution system".

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