CASES of the deadly superbug c-difficile have almost halved at Halton and Warrington Hospital in the last six months.
The latest national figures on c-diff published by the Health Protection Agency show the North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages Warrington and Halton hospitals, has cut infection numbers by 43 percent since March and is one of the best performing trusts in the North West.
Director of nursing and governance Kath Holbourn said: “It’s the largest fall in cases in the North West region.The figures show a dramatic decrease in the numbers of c-diff infections we have seen over the last few months. Patients can be assured by these figures that our programme of work around reducing infections is paying dividends.”
C-diff is the greatest cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea and the bacteria can reside in the gut without causing symptoms for a long time.
Some antibiotics disturb the balance of bacteria in the gut, causing c-diff to multiply rapidly and produce the toxins which cause illness.
The bacteria is usually spread on the hands of people who come into contact with infected patients or contaminated surfaces.
Kate Holburn added: “It’s the result of hard work by our staff and new initiatives to improve the care for patients at risk of infection – such as those who have been on long courses of antibiotics. Our specialist ward for infection control at Warrington Hospital is helping prevent the risk of infection spreading and leading to better outcomes for patients who develop infection. We’re also working closely with GPs in the community to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in high risk patients. There’s still work to be done but these huge drops in numbers are good news and show that we’re providing better, safer care for our patients.”
The figures look at infection numbers between April and June this year and show just 65 cases over the three month period, compared to 114 cases in the previous three months from January to March.
At the trust’s board meeting this week it was reported that there were just seven cases of hospital acquired c-diff this September compared to 28 cases in the same month last year.