A 95-year-old man who was recovering from a stroke in a Reading council run care home has died from Legionnaires’ Disease.

The man was staying in the Care Home when he contracted pneumonia which was found to be caused by the Legionella bacterium.

Reading Borough Council has acknowledged “the possibility exists that the resident may have contracted Legionella bacteria at the care home, although that has not been established beyond doubt”. Checks to the water system have found traces of the bacterium in a tap. An independent expert consultant, carried out extensive testing and cleaning of the water system at The Willows and fitted special bacteria filters to all water outlets in the building.

The Council believes that “on the basis of expert independent advice, that our maintenance programme at the home is fully in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice and that the risk to residents from Legionella is as low as possible.

“We have adhered to the Health and Safety Executive’s approved code of practice on Legionella before this incident and the measures taken since are over and above the HSE guidance.”

The care home is reported to have been completely refurbished in September last year including the renewal of much of the water system.