The FAMILY of a man who died as a result of Legionnaires’ disease contracted at a care home have revealed their hope that lessons have been learned after lawyers secured them a settlement from the business which runs the site.

Andy Clegg died around two weeks after he was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital with a diagnosis of Legionella Pneumonia, a recognised complication arising from exposure to the Legionella bacteria.

Following the 56-year-old’s death his family, including sister Joanne Denyer, and brother Matt Clegg, instructed expert public health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help them obtain answers as to why Andy died.

Now, after the lawyers helped Andy’s family secure an undisclosed settlement and an admission of liability from Sentinel Healthcare, his loved ones have revealed their hope that the issues seen in his case will not be repeated.

Jatinder Paul, the senior associate solicitor and public health expert at Irwin Mitchell who represents the family said: “This case sadly highlights the devastating effects that Legionnaires’ disease can have on people who contract the disease.

"Andy’s family understandably remain devastated by their loss. Their pain has been made worse by Sentinel Healthcare originally choosing to ignore their concerns. Sadly, it was not until the public scrutiny of an inquest that the company finally accepted that Andy’s exposure to the Legionella bacteria took place at the home.

“While nothing will change what has happened, we hope that this settlement and the admission of liability will help this family move forward with their lives. It is also vital that all appropriate steps are taken to prevent incidents such as this from reoccurring.”

Andy, originally from Southampton, moved into Fordingbridge Care Home in April 2017 following issues with his mental health, but just months later he fell seriously ill and then passed away.

Joanne, 55, said: “Andy was such a wonderful man and we all still miss him so much. It is particularly heart-breaking that we placed great trust in Sentinel that he would be looked after properly and safely, yet just months into his stay he fell ill.

“While nothing will bring him back our family were determined to honour his memory by getting answers regarding what happened. We also hope that our case ensures that many others do not face the same problems that Andy ultimately did.

Matt, 48 added: “The settlement is welcome, but this was never about that. It is about ensuring that lessons are learned and care home providers and other businesses recognise why tackling issues surrounding Legionella is so important. Every step should be taken to keep vulnerable people safe.”

An inquest into Andy’s death was held in March, with a jury concluded that he died as a result of Legionnaires’ bacteria contracted at the home. Following the inquest jury’s conclusion, Nicholas Rheinberg, Assistant Coroner, contacted the Care Quality Commission (CQC), asking it to review the training given to inspectors regarding water safety.

Mr Rheinberg also wrote to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) calling on it to review how care homes were designed to help reduce the risk of Legionella and the spread of the bacteria in care homes.

Both CQC and RIBA continue to investigate.