Good year in fight on bugs

Paul Garvin
Paul Garvin

HOSPITAL chiefs are celebrating after achieving tough targets for superbug cases.

The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust did not experience any patients contracting of MRSA or C-Difficile while in the hospital’s care throughout April.

And the trust achieved a Government-set target of having no more than 40 C-Difficile cases for the whole of 2013-14.

Despite concerns they would miss their target earlier in the year, the trust recorded a total of 30 cases of the dangerous bug.

C-Difficile is particularly dangerous to the elderly and people with underlying health problems and is resistant to medication.

It causes diarrhoea and inflammation of the bowel, which can be life-threatening.

Welcoming the results, trust chairman Paul Garvin said: “Behind every number is a patient. Delivering better services for patients is what it’s all about,

“I think it has bene a really good year, but it hasn’t happened by accident but a lot of good work by the staff.

“There is still much to be done and we need to keep the pressure on.”

The trust has the same tough target not to exceed 40 cases of C-Difficile for the next 12 months.

An annual report said the reduction was down to improvements among staff and visitors in hand-washing and other initiatives to raise awareness.

Director of infection prevention, Cath Siddle, said: “Patients who do develop the infection are closely managed and receive daily visits from an infection prevention and control nurse.

“Our patients are also followed up by telephone after discharge from hospital to provide advice and support should symptoms recur.”

It has now also been 507 days since a patient contracted MRSA in a hospital setting.

The trust says it operates a zero tolerance approach to the condition.

Last year, there were 191 cases of E Coli with 169 occurring in the community and 22 within the hospital trust.

That was a 16 per cent reduction on the previous year.

Trust chief executive Alan Foster said the drive on good hygiene had to continue.

“We need to continue with that as it would be easy to slip back,” he said.