Ward closed due to superbug

A WARD in Ipswich Hospital has been partially closed after it was confirmed that six people contracted the bug Clostridium Difficile (C-diff), it emerged today.

A WARD in Ipswich Hospital has been partially closed after it was confirmed that six people contracted the bug Clostridium Difficile (C-diff), it emerged today.

Hospital staff became concerned after 11 patients on a ward said they were not feeling well. Following tests, it was confirmed on Tuesday that six people have got the infection, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

The ward is closed to new admissions and a section of it has been closed while a full scale cleaning operation gets underway.

One person was well enough to go home, two are now not showing any symptoms of the infection and the other three are stable at present.

The news comes just a day after it was revealed that a major crackdown on superbugs failed to stop the hospital missing targets for MRSA and C-diff.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “At the end of last week, we had concerns because 11 patients did not feel very well. Six of those patients have now been confirmed as having Clostridium Difficile.

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"The ward is closed to new admissions. The level of cleaning and disinfection, as is our policy, has been stepped up.

“Every patient would have been spoken to personally by senior nurses and doctors.

“We try not to have infections at the hospital but when there is one, we act swiftly to deal with it."

She added that there is another ward currently closed due to the hospital's deep cleaning programme, which is part of a major drive to tackle infection.

Some 20 out of the hospital's 28 wards will close for a short period over the course of the process while cleaning takes place as a precautionary measure.

The ward currently closed for the cleaning programme is an observation short-stay ward. All the patients have been moved to a spare ward.

The most recent infection figures released by the hospital showed there had been 114 cases after three months of the 2007/08 year, above the target of 88.

There had been five cases of MRSA against a target of six.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Ipswich Hospital made a bid to the region's health chiefs for £300,000, which could be doubled, to help bring infection rates down.

The first £300,000, if finalised, will be used to create an isolation ward and decontamination area, step up cleaning and provide extra staffing levels on busy wards at night.

Do you think the hospital is doing a good enough job to fight infections? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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