A CORONER is demanding action after a resident at a Hampshire care home died from Legionnaires' disease.

Andy Clegg, who lived at Fordingbridge Care Home, was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital in October 2017 and died nearly two weeks later.

Today a inquest jury ruled that the 56-year-old contracted Legionella pneumonia while at the home.

Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria found primarily in lakes rivers and ponds, but it can also be found in mains water.

Assistant coroner Nicholas Rheinberg said he would contact the Care Quality Commission, which regulates the industry, and ask it to review the training given to water safety inspectors.

He will also urge the Royal Institute of British Architects to take any necessary action to reduce the risk of Legionella bacteria in care homes.

Mr Clegg moved to Fordingbridge Care Home, run by Sentinel Healthcare, almost two years ago.

In a statement issued after the inquest his brother and sister, Joanne Denyer and Matt Clegg, said: “Andy was a loving and generous soul and the pain and suffering he experienced in the days before he died remains with us.

Daily Echo:

“The last few days have been incredibly difficult but we were determined to honour Andy’s memory by obtaining the answers he deserved.

“We entrusted Sentinel to look after Andy but our family find it difficult not to think we were let down with terrible consequences.

“All we can hope for now is that his death was not totally in vain and reinforces how dangerous Legionnaires' can be. It's vital that businesses and public bodies ensure they take all necessary steps to prevent others contracting the disease.”

The family were represented at the Salisbury inquest by specialist lawyers from Irwin Mitchell.

Speaking immediately after the four-day hearing Jatinder Paul, a senior associate at the firm, said: "Andy’s death has had a profound effect on his family.

"For the last 16 months they have had a number of concerns which have been ignored by Sentinel until today, when they finally accepted that Andy contracted Legionnaires’ disease at the Fordingbridge Care Home and this ultimately caused his untimely death.

Daily Echo:

“Whilst nothing can ever make up for Andy’s death we are pleased the hearing has helped answer the family’s concerns.

"We are pleased the coroner will now write to the Care Quality Commission to raise his concerns that more needs to be done for the training of inspectors in water safety to prevent future deaths from Legionnaires’ disease in the care setting.

“The coroner has also announced his intention to write to the Royal Institute of British Architects to consider the layout and design of buildings in the care setting."

Sentinel Healthcare have been approached for comment.