It seems in this case that the care home did have in place a contractor who came in and completed checks and without knowing the exact details it seems from the surface as if the contractor had let the care home down. This can be a difficult situation for a care home since it can be a shock after a risk assessment to realise that there are a number of checks that need to be undertook and so bringing in a third party to do this can often be a good answer as many care homes may not have the maintenance/engineering resource or time to complete the checks themselves. One thing which is not often realised at this time is even by using a third party the responsibility cannot be discharged and in fact remains with the ‘responsible person’ often the manager.
There are a number of things we would advise to in order to negate this risk:
1. Always use an independent risk assessor. Part of the assessors job will be to audit the checks that are completed and as you can imagine its often not a good idea to get someone to audit their own work.
2. Consider utilising a consultant for 6 monthly or annual audits of the management system to check for compliance
3. Ensure that whoever is responsible has at least some basic Legionella awareness training