Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

National listeria outbreak: Our condolences to Mrs Brenda Elmer’s family

Thursday February 6, 2020

An inquest into the death of Mrs Brenda Elmer on 5 February 2020 concluded: “Brenda Elmer died from complications associated with a listeria infection that she had contracted from a contaminated sandwich provided by an external supplier whilst an inpatient at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. This was part of a national outbreak.”

In  response to the findings of the West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield, the trust’s medical director Dr Tim Taylor said: “We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs Brenda Elmer.

“We deeply regret Mrs Elmer contracted listeriosis by eating a contaminated sandwich supplied by The Good Food Chain while in our care.

“Patient safety is our absolute priority and as soon as we were informed about the possibility of listeria contamination we removed all products from our hospitals. Sadly, this was three weeks after Mrs Elmer’s four-day stay.

“We are pleased the coroner recognised the swift action we undertook to protect public health once we were made aware of the risk, and there was no criticism of the trust’s actions and its food handling procedures.

“We hope the inquest has given Mrs Elmer’s family a fuller understanding of the sad circumstances surrounding her death. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.” 



  • Mrs Brenda Elmer attended St Richard’s Hospital on 30 April, 2019, and stayed until 3 May.
  • St Richard’s Hospital was one of more than 40 NHS trusts supplied with pre-packaged sandwiches and salads from The Good Food Chain Company.
  • The Good Food Chain Company alerted the trust to concerns about its products on 25 May 2019. The trust immediately withdrew those Good Food Chain products.
  • The trust was first notified about the risk of Listeria contamination by PHE on 26 May 2019. At this time, all Good Food Products were immediately withdrawn from the hospitals.                                                          

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