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Errors led to C diff outbreak

11th October 2007

Health secretary Alan Johnson has described the deaths of 90 hospital patients from clostridium difficile as “scandalous.�

Corridor

It has also emerged that Kent police have launched an investigation into whether the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust should be prosecuted for the deaths.

The Healthcare Commission said a “litany� of errors in infection control had caused the “avoidable tragedy� while the trust conceded it had not been prepared for an outbreak of that size and complexity.

Mr Johnson said he was shocked by the findings, but denied accusations the problems were caused by staff being put under pressures to meet government targets.

The trust’s chief executive, Rose Gibb, resigned last week and now Mr Johnson has stepped in to withhold her severance payment at this stage.

The commission began its investigation after complaints about cleanliness. It examined a sample of 50 patients out of a total of 345 to whom various causes of death had been attributed, but who were also known to have had C difficile, between April 2004 and September 2006. It concluded that C difficile was definitely or probably the main cause of death for 90 patients.

The Healthcare Commission report’s lead author Heather Wood said: “I would think the lessons, not just about cleanliness, hygiene and infection control, but the care provided to patients who contract C difficile is something that has wider lessons for the NHS.â€?

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust welcomed the recommendations contained in the report for improvements and said that lessons were being learned from the outbreak.

 

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hazel joyce

Wednesday 17th October 2007 @ 22:41

My father died after contracting c.difficile at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but that is not what was on his death certificate. He was due to be released 2 weeks after admission for a chest infection but while waiting for Social Services to arrange help at home he caught the bug and spent another 10 weeks in hospital trying to get rid of the bug but it eventually made him so weak and thin he finally died 4 months after going into hospital. I also know of other friends who have been through the same.

It seems it is a problem at most hospitals.


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