Superbug probe

A GRIEVING daughter whose mother contracted a hospital superbug today remains so dissatisfied with her treatment she is taking her complaints to the Healthcare Commission.

A GRIEVING daughter whose mother contracted a hospital superbug today remains so dissatisfied with her treatment she is taking her complaints to the Healthcare Commission.

Hazel Pettifor's mother, Annie Davies, 81, contracted Clostridium Difficile (CDiff) – a superbug that causes acute diarrhoea and stomach cramps, when she was admitted to Ipswich Hospital in February following a heart attack. She died on May 10.

Mrs Pettifor, of Borrowdale Avenue, Ipswich, was so concerned by her mother's treatment in the hospital that she is demanding an independent investigation into the case.

Mrs Pettifor, 40, said: "The cleaning was awful and the nurses were overrun.

"There was nothing that convinced me the hospital was being proactive in preventing infection.

"At one point my mother was sharing a commode with other patients. On another, my sister went in and my mother was lying in her own faeces."

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In June Mrs Pettifor wrote to the hospital's acting chief executive Chris Dooley, asking about the standards of cleanliness and why her mother was not isolated from other patients.

The complaint sparked an internal investigation at the hospital but Mrs Pettifor believes it failed to address many of her questions.

She is now taking her complaints to the Healthcare Commission which will conduct an independent review.

Mrs Pettifor, a university lecturer, highlights a number of issues she wishes to see addressed in more detail, including infection control procedures and cross contamination.

She said: "My mother stayed on three or four different wards, heightening the chances of her spreading the infection.

"There was no continuity, they did not even seem to realise she had CDiff."

She also wants the cause of her mother's death investigated further. The fact that Mrs Davies had CDiff was not listed as a cause of death but her daughters remain convinced the illness contributed to it.

Mrs Pettifor said: "It worries me that it was not on her death certificate. How can they monitor it?

"I have no doubt that she died from that."

Ipswich MP Chris Mole is backing Mrs Pettifor's quest for more information.

He said: "There are a number of points she has raised about the cleanliness of the ward and the hygiene practices of the care staff which I feel are very important.

"I think there are a number of points that she needs to get answers to."

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: "We take all of these issues very seriously and if Mrs Pettifor isn't completely satisfied with the investigation we have carried out then we would urge her to come back to us."

What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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