THE family of a man who died as a result of Legionnaires’ disease contracted at a Fordingbridge care home hope lessons have been learned after lawyers secured them a settlement.

Andy Clegg was a resident at Fordingbridge Care Home and was admitted to Salisbury District Hospital after becoming unwell but his condition worsened and he died nearly two weeks later on November 5, 2017.

A jury at his inquest held at Salisbury Coroners Court on March 28 found Mr Clegg had contracted Legionella pneumonia while at the care home, run by Sentinel Healthcare.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have helped Andy’s family secure an undisclosed settlement and an admission of liability from Sentinel Healthcare.

Andy's sister Joanne Denyer 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 we're 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.

His brother Matt Clegg 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.”

Jatinder Paul, the senior associate solicitor and public health expert at Irwin Mitchell, 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.”

Following the inquest in March, assistant coroner Nicholas Rheinberg 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.