Somerset

Patient died from Legionnaires' caught at RUH ward

RUH, Batth
Image caption Mr Brooks died after contracting Legionnaires' disease during his stay at a cancer ward in the RUH

A patient died from Legionnaires' disease contracted from Bath's Royal United Hospital while being treated for leukaemia, an inquest has heard.

Terry Brooks, 68, from Bath caught the infection from a malfunctioning water supply and distribution system.

The narrative conclusion comes after the hospital disputed the cause of death and the investigation findings.

The hospital has apologised to the family and has acted on the Health and Safety Executive's recommendations.

A spokesperson said: "We wish to offer an assurance that we have followed the advice of the expert agencies, and continue to take all necessary precautions to ensure our patients and our staff are not at risk."

'Malfunctioning water supply'

The jury at the inquest heard Mr Brooks tested positive for Legionella days after being admitted to William Budd ward in July.

During the hearing at Flax Bourton, his daughter Charlotte said hospital staff told her that her father's death was caused by Legionella but that the hospital was "definitely" not the source of the infection.

But the coroner was critical of how the hospital misinterpreted the test results which showed Legionnella was present at the hospital ward.

After the inquest, his family made a statement saying they were "pleased the jury have recognised that Mr Brooks contracted Legionnella at the Royal United Hospital Bath, a fact which they have disputed throughout".

The statement added: "The family is giving thanks to the jury for recognising his fatal infection was due to the malfunctioning water supply which tested positive for Legionella at numerous outlets.

"The family also thanks the coroner for the report which he will pass on to the Quality Care Commission concerning the hospital's misrepresentation of the evidence gathered in the investigation."

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