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Legionella found again at Ludlow's The Feathers Hotel

Image captionThe Feathers Hotel is a well-known building in Ludlow

Elevated levels of bacteria have been found at a hotel where a guest died after contracting Legionnaires' disease.

The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow closed in September following the death of 69-year-old Elaine Brown.

Shropshire Council and Public Health England said routine water sampling had again found legionella.

They said they were taking "urgent" steps following the discovery and parts of the hotel would close.

Mrs Brown, from Stoneycroft, Liverpool, stayed a the hotel in July. Another woman also contracted the disease after staying at The Feathers, but she recovered.

The hotel reopened in November, when Shropshire Council and Public Health England said they were happy the necessary steps had been taken.

It has since gone on sale for £2.65m.

Shropshire Council said a temporary, voluntary closure of parts of the hotel would be in place until further precautionary works could be carried out.

It added the elevated levels had only been detected in the recent set of samples and no new cases of Legionnaires' disease had been associated with the hotel.

Legionnaires' disease

  • A potentially fatal lung infection caused by legionella bacteria

  • It is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person

  • It is caught by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water

  • Initial symptoms include a high fever and muscle pain

  • Legionnaires' disease is three times more common in men than women and mostly affects people aged over 50

  • An estimated 10% of people who contract the disease will die from complications arising from infection

Source: NHS

The council said, as a precautionary measure, guests who have stayed at the hotel within the past 14 days would be contacted by the hotel.

It said anyone who was concerned and exhibiting symptoms should contact their GP.


Hospital fined £300k after Legionnaires' disease death

The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath has been fined £300,000 for health and safety breaches after a patient died from Legionnaires' disease.

Terence Brooks, 68, caught the infection in 2015 while being treated for cancer.

Bristol Crown Court heard that the hospital had been warned to update plans of its water distribution system to reduce the risk of the disease.

But the work had not been carried out.

As a result there was no monitoring of legionella in the annexe of the William Budd ward, where Mr. Brooks was being cared for.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Susan Chivers said: "RUH had measures in place to prevent and control the risk to its patients from exposure to legionella from its water systems, but these were ineffective due to the trust not having accurate knowledge of the layout of those water systems."

"It is essential that organisations review their risk control measures whenever there is reason to suspect that they are no longer valid or when there are changes to a water system."

In a statement made after the hearing, Mr Brooks' family said: "The family are pleased that the HSE have pursued this and that as a result changes have been made at the RUH. Our hope is that no other family will suffer as we have."

The hospital's defence barrister apologised to the family and said that the hospital accepted work on updating drawings should have been done more quickly.

It is not the first time a cancer patient has died of Legionnaires' disease at the hospital.

In 2004 37-year-old Daryl Eyles caught the disease.

He had taken a shower shortly before he was due to be discharged, caught a fever and died a week later.

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