Health chiefs stay focused on super bug

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WIGAN’S hospital trust has failed to contain a potentially fatal super bug after missing their yearly NHS target.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) exceeded 36 cases of the Clostridium difficile (C diff) toxin at the trust, despite making huge improvements in containing hospital bugs.

A spokesman for the trust said: “WWL continue to commit itself to improving Infection Control and to lowering Healthcare Associated Infection rates. With the dedication of our staff we have made significant progress and achieved results of which we can be deservedly proud. 

“Our percentage reduction to date is fantastic. From our reported rate in 2007/08 we have seen a 90 per cent reduction in C diff cases.

“Despite the trust’s best endeavour’s to continue its excellent record in reducing C diff cases, we have unfortunately exceeded our annual limit for this year.

“This year the Trust was asked, by the Department of Health, to undertake a further 31 per cent reduction in comparison with last year. This was always going to be a challenge to achieve.

“Nevertheless, our current position is much improved compared to this time last year.

“As part of the implementation of the C diff strategy and as additional support, extra housekeeping staff and cleaners have been recruited. New cleaning protocols have also been developed and rolled out across the hospital sites.

“The trust has also invested heavily in the management of C diff by creating a ward to accommodate all C diff patients and by developing a dedicated CDT care pathway. This patient care pathway is monitored closely by a multi-disciplinary team to make sure each patient receives optimum treatment.

Clostridium difficile infection – commonly known as C-Diff – is a type of bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system.

In severe cases it can be fatal and commonly affects patients in hospitals.

In December, an inquest into the death of 91-year-old Tommy Kevan of Stubshaw Cross heard how he died after contracting a C diff infection in his bowel having been treated at Wigan Infirmary.

Director of infection prevention and control, Pauline Jones said: “While we have made great strides in reducing Healthcare Associated Infections, it is disappointing that we have exceeded our annual limit.

“However, I recognise that a vast amount of hard work and commitment has been demonstrated this year by our dedicated staff.”