More work needed to tackle superbugs

SUFFOLK'S health care trust is still failing to reach its targets in the battle against a potentially fatal superbug.

SUFFOLK'S health care trust is still failing to reach its targets in the battle against a potentially fatal superbug.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) recorded 93 positive samples of the infection Clostridium difficile (C-diff) throughout the county in April and May, nearly 40 per cent higher than its target of 68 cases for the period.

The cases included patients treated in hospitals and in the community who contracted the bug.

The news comes after Ipswich Hospital was forced to close a ward in the middle of June following an outbreak of the infection.

Today the PCT pledged to do more to tackle the problem, including employing an extra member of staff and clamping down on unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics.

Sara Fletcher, infection control nurse advisor at Suffolk PCT, said: “Having discussed our results with other improving PCTs we have all the control measures in place in line with current guidelines to reduce Clostridium difficile cases.

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“The PCT remains committed to improving awareness of the disease process and target education amongst health care workers, including GPs and care home staff.

“We will also be appointing to a new post to strengthen our analysis of C-diff cases in the area, so that we can learn more about the bacteria to help prevent new cases and reduce re-occurrences.”

Ipswich Hospital has seen a reduction in tackling superbugs, however bosses have vowed not to get complacent.

According to a latest report the Heath Road hospital has seen drops in cases of MRSA and C-diff in the last twelve months.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “Reducing the number of infections within the hospital is our number one clinical priority.

“Everyone within the hospital is very pleased with the progress we have made but the last thing we are is complacent.

“There is still a long way to go to get to where we want to be - which is infection free.”

Does more need to be done to tackle infection control within Suffolk's healthcare system? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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