Hartlepool hospital bosses claim they are ‘set up to fail’ with bug-busting targets

TARGETS: University Hospital of Hartlepool.
TARGETS: University Hospital of Hartlepool.
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HEALTH bosses fear they have been “set up to fail” after they successfully kept infections down.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust dealt with four cases of clostridium difficile last month.

This demonstrates the hard work of all the staff, C diff particularly is an excellent result.

Cath Siddle, director of nursing, patient safety and quality

While predicted figures showed it would deal with 40 incidents, it only dealt with half of that figure, a 33 per cent reduction on the previous year.

But the good result means the trust has been given a target of 13 cases during the next year.

Cath Siddle, director of nursing, patient safety and quality, said at a meeting of the trust’s board: “Really well done to the whole team.

“This demonstrates the hard work of all the staff, C diff particularly is an excellent result.

“That means we are now looking at 13 for the next year, and it was 40 and we had 20, this is setting us up to fail.”

She said she had made representations to the NHS, as had the area’s Clinical Commissioning Group, but they were still awaiting a response from a letter they sent.

The latest statistics show the trust had no instances of Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureusis (MRSA) although there was one case reported during last month, but investigations found it had been a contaminated sample.

It did not pose any harm to the patient and as a result, the process for following up new medical staff to ensure competency assessments had been strengthened.

No cases of Meticillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) were found during last month, but the situation worsened across the year with 18 cases.

A number of those were identified as not being preventable, as the patient had developed the bacteria despite all preventative measures being taken and because the source had been their skin or chest, which makes any action to stop it developing is difficult. Two cases of Ecoli were found in March, but 27 cases pinpointed in the year, exceeding the 22 cases which had been set out in the trajectory, with community cases up compared to last year.

Compliance with hand hygiene stands at just under 95 per cent for the month.

The trust has also trained up 160 staff as part of plans to deal with any cases of the ebola virus, with simulation exercises carried out in various departments and experiences gained from each test.