Care home fined after failing to notify authorities of deadly bug

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A CARE home has been fined for failing to notifying regulators after a positive test for the Legionella bacteria.

Molescroft Nursing Home Ltd, which runs the Holy Name Care Home in Hall Road, Hull, has been handed two fixed penalty notices worth £2,500 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) over the breach and another after it failed to inform the regulator the home’s manager had been suspended.

Five out of nine water samples taken at the home in routine tests in September tested positive for Legionella.

Officials said action was taken to protect people’s safety but the provider failed to report the situation to the CQC as required by law.

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

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

A spokesman for the home pointed out that there had been no actual outbreak of legionnaires’ disease.

“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,” he said.

“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 possible 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.

“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.”