Stoke & Staffordshire

Legionnaires' outbreak: Stoke MP urges public inquiry

Rob Flello
Image caption Mr Flello said an inquiry has to be held "because of the importance of learning lessons"

An MP has called for a public inquiry into a Legionnaires' outbreak in Stoke-on-Trent after two patients being treated for the disease died.

Stoke South MP Rob Flello said a more co-ordinated approach should have been taken by the agencies involved.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said decision-making had been appropriate.

A hot tub at the city's JTF Warehouse has been the focus of investigations. The owners said they had co-operated fully with investigating authorities.

There have been 21 cases since the spate of illnesses began in the middle of July.

The Labour MP said: "I think because of the rarity and because of the importance of learning lessons, that's why an inquiry has to be held.

"[The disease has] had an outbreak here in Stoke-on-Trent.

"There was an outbreak I think fairly recently in Edinburgh, and indeed there was also I think an isolated case in Stoke-on-Trent some months ago."

Image caption Rachel Griffin said she thought it was "really important" to have an inquiry

The inquiry call has been backed by the family of Richard Griffin, 64, from Stoke-on-Trent, who died last month from multiple organ failure.

Daughter Rachel Griffin said: "I know it's not going to bring my dad back.

"But I think it's really important that there is an inquiry because we really need to know what the circumstances were that led to the outbreak."

A man in his 70s has also died.

On behalf of all organisations involved in the investigation, the HPA said communications and decision-making had been robust, timely and appropriate since the start of the outbreak.

The hot tubs which had been on display at the warehouse have been withdrawn from sale.

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