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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Amount of infections in South Cumbria hospitals cut but targets missed

DEADLY hospital infections have been slashed by two thirds in South Cumbria’s hospitals – although targets are still being missed.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Furness General Hospital in Barrow, says it has reduced C-difficile and MRSA infections in the last five years – although it missed its own targets last year.

C-difficile, a bacterial infection in the digestive system, can cause life-threatening complications.

Spores of the bacteria can be passed out of the human body in faeces and can survive for many weeks, sometimes months, on objects and surfaces.

The UHMBT target for the number of infections in 2013/14 was 36, but 50 cases were reported. The target for 2014/15 has been revised to 46.

Sue Smith, executive chief nurse at UHMBT, said: “We have made a good start in reducing infections. Five years ago there were 20 patients diagnosed with MRSA and 251 with C-difficile in our hospitals.

“Last year there was one MRSA case and 50 cases of C-difficile. However, just one case is too many and I want to ensure that we take every precaution to ensure that any unavoidable infection is prevented.”

Chief executive of the trust, Jackie Daniel, said: “In 2014, the trust aims to introduce hydrogen peroxide fogging to enhance its cleaning programme. This has worked well in many NHS trusts and we are keen to introduce it in ours.

“There is a lot of C-difficile in our community so we ask the public not to visit patients if they have any sickness or diarrhoea. Washing hands with soap and water is something everyone can do to help.

“In response to the improvements being made we will monitor this performance as one of the priorities for 2014/15.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence yesterday said nationally 800 patients a day – one in 16 patients – are infected while receiving NHS treatment. The infections cause 5,000 deaths per year and contribute to 15,000 more.

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