Grandfather Left Fighting For His Life After Contracting Legionnaires’

Irwin Mitchell Instructed To Investigate Conditions At Bournemouth Hotel


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A grandfather, who was left fighting for his life after contracting Legionnaires’ disease, has instructed specialist Public Health lawyers to investigate conditions at a Bournemouth hotel which he visited before falling ill.

Experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell are looking into how Peter Apps, 75, contracted the potentially fatal bacterial infection which left him critically ill and in intensive care at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham.

The retired lorry driver from Milton Regis, in Kent, believes that he contracted Legionnaires’ disease – a bacterial pneumonia commonly contained in water droplets – during a short break in Bournemouth earlier this year.

Peter was on holiday with a friend and stayed at the 127-bed Roundhouse, run by Britannia Hotel chain in September this year, which is part of the Britannia Hotels chain. The hotel later closed voluntarily while environmental health officers from Bournemouth Borough Council carried out tests. At present, the results are awaited and therefore an outbreak of Legionella at the hotel has not been confirmed.

Peter began experiencing flu-like symptoms late at night on 7th October and two days later, he collapsed while at home with his wife, Christine, 71. On 10th October he was admitted to a high dependency unit at the Hospital where his lung collapsed. The following day he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he was placed in a medically induced coma and at one stage his family were told he was not expected to live for much longer.

Whilst still in a coma, on 14th October, results from blood tests revealed that he was suffering from Legionnaires’ disease. Despite needing dialysis after his kidneys began to go into organ failure, Peter, who turned 75 while in hospital, was discharged a month later.

Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner and Public Health expert at Irwin Mitchell who has notably represented dozens of people who have contracted Legionnaires disease in the UK and abroad, said that the firm is committed to carrying out a thorough investigation to find out if Peter contracted the illness due to conditions at the hotel. 

Expert Opinion
“Legionnaires’ disease is a very serious illness that can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable or elderly people, as we have sadly seen in this case.

“We have seen first-hand through our work, the impact that Legionnaires’ disease has had in the UK in recent years, both in Edinburgh where nearly 100 people suffered illness and in Stoke-on-Trent, which caused three deaths and affected 18 others.

“Legionnaires’ disease can be prevented if the correct safety procedures are followed, but sadly there are still hundreds of reported cases of the disease every year and it is clear that further action is needed to reduce the number of outbreaks which occur.

“Our attention is now focused on thoroughly investigating the issues related to the Roundhouse Hotel in Bournemouth, as Peter and his family understandably want answers following this ordeal. Peter’s friend also fell seriously ill following their stay at the hotel so we would urge anyone else who suffered problems at the hotel to get in touch, as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Peter said: “I remember speaking to my wife on my first day at the hotel and remarking about the conditions in the bathroom.

“I know that Legionella bacteria often grows in those areas if conditions are not kept up to standard and I want to know if this could be why I became so ill.

“Although I have a long road to recovery, I’m so lucky to be alive. My family and I have been through a terrible time as a result of this illness and we just want answers as to how this came to happen.”