Drastic Action call on C difficile cases - Scarborough NHS Hospital

Published Date: 03 August 2010 Scarborough News

THE chairman of Scarborough health trust has called for "more drastic action" following a surge in the number of C difficile cases.

In June the number of cases of the bacterial infection soared to 11, which is almost a third of the cases allowed in a whole year.

Strict hygiene measures, an isolation ward and deep cleaning work has been in place since March, but this has not prevented the surge in cases last month.

Speaking at a meeting of the trust board on Tuesday, chairman Sir Michael Carlisle said: "We seem to have some more virulent strains than other people and may need to take more drastic decontamination action."
Chief executive Richard Sunley added: "June's figures haven't been good, but July is much, much better.

"However we need to keep focused on our antibiotic prescribing policy, improved cleaning and our hand hygiene policy."

New equipment has now been brought into Scarborough Hospital in an attempt to reduce the number of cases of C difficile and other infections, such as MRSA and Norovirus.

Rooms are being decontaminated using a machine which pumps out hydrogen peroxide vapour, which can destroy bacteria, viruses and spores.

David Biggins, the trust's decontamination lead, said: "We have an excellent domestic services department here, but we have a big environment and to rely on manual cleaning is very challenging."

Mr Biggins explained that the vapour sterilises everything in the room and can get into hard-to-reach places, such as the back of electrical equipment.

He added: "We've completed 65 cycles and we've not had one that has failed. We're looking for a kill rate of 100 per cent every time."

However, chief nurse Teresa Fenech explained that the technology, known as HPV Fogging, is not a complete solution to the problem.

She said: "No single factor will eliminate C diff. There will always be patients with it, especially in areas where there is an elderly population."

Mick Pilling.....Patients from Bridlington Hospital now have to travel to Scarborough Hospital for treatment and as so are at risk, before many were treated at Bridlington before services were removed and taken to Scarborough.