A HEALTH trust which serves people in Hartlepool and east Durham is winning the war on hospital bugs.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has recorded its lowest number of attributed cases of the bacterial infection Clostridium difficile over the last year.
In the last 12 months, the trust has had 30 patients who have contracted C Diff while in its care.
But that is below the levels which were set by national health chiefs. The maximum target set for the trust in 2013/14 by NHS England was 40 cases.
CDiff is more likely to spread in a hospital environment but can be minimised by practising good hygiene such as washing hands and cleaning surfaces thoroughly.
Director of nursing patient safety and quality Cath Siddle said: “It is very reassuring to see that we have had a significant reduction in the number of cases of CDiff over the last year.
“This represents a reduction of half compared to last year, which is down to the various measures put into place and our not being complacent about hand hygiene, deep cleaning
and antibiotic prescribing.
“Of course we are always striving to improve our performance and even one case of CDiff is clearly one case too many. However, thanks to the hard work of staff we’re continuing on this downward trend.”
The trust has an infection prevention policy which includes details of the steps all staff should be taking in ward areas.
These include ensuring they clean their hands before
and after contact with patients, rolling up sleeves and taking off any jewellery so they are bare below the elbows and ensuring the doors of rooms housing patients with CDiff
are kept closed while also keeping all other rooms clutter free.
Patient hand hygiene, particularly before eating, is also important.
Visitors can contribute to good infection control by washing their hands with soap and water before entering and leaving a ward.