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‘Zero tolerance’ to hospital bug
The latest monthly update for staff at Airedale Hospital warns that they must continue to minimise the number of cases of the Clostridium difficile infection (C diff) contracted by patients.
The report, released by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Bridget Fletcher, states that the hospital has made “massive” improvements in infection prevention and control, slashing the number of cases of C diff from more than 150 per year to 21 in 2011.
But it adds that the Department for Health has adopted a zero tolerance approach to the problem, meaning that the hospital must comply with a demanding threshold to avoid being penalised.
The July update states: “We are doing everything we can to follow infection prevention best practice. However, given the level of C diff prevalent in the community, it is likely that our threshold of 12 may be breached. The latest position is six C diff cases so far for 2012/13.”
Hospital managers have noted that Airedale is meeting the essential standards required by law.
They responded to a quarterly report published by the Care Quality Commission, which aims to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the performance of health and social care providers in England as of the end of March 2012.
The commission’s findings were based on unannounced inspections of more than 14,000 locations, including NHS facilities and independent hospitals.
Airedale’s board of directors was informed that the hospital was rated as “green”, meaning it complied with key quality and safety laws at the time of the last check.
Workshops and patient groups have given people who attend Airedale’s anti-coagulant clinics a chance to voice their reactions to their treatment.
The update report notes: “There were some concerns from patients about systems and processes, which the team is addressing, as well as the message that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’.
“Patients were complimentary about our clinical practice. The team is now developing a business case to ensure patients are at the heart of how we will do things.”
Airedale Hospital received more than £45,000 in donations during June.
Ms Fletcher’s report revealed that this sum included one legacy of £23,000 to be spent on medicine and elderly care.