Probe underway after C.diff death at hospital

Kings Mill Hospital.
Kings Mill Hospital.

An investigation has been launched after a patient at Sherwood Forest Hospitals trust died from a clostridium difficile infection.

The death occurred between July and September and was one of 11 incidents of the digestive system bacterial infection, known as C. diff, recorded during this period.

The death was revealed in a report to directors at the trust’s latest board meeting, at which acting chief nurse Victoria Bagshaw presented the latest Quality Report.

Her report showed the 11 incidents were within the trust’s target of 12, but C. diff cases for this financial year are above target, because there were 16 cases in the first three months.

The report stated: “C. diff remains high on the agenda and a comprehensive action plan is in place with clear, measurable goals. A meeting has taken place to discuss future management across the whole health economy, identifying triggers and practice issues”.

The report also showed figures for bi-weekly audits performed by the infection control and prevention team at the trust.

There has been a deterioration in hand hygiene in emergency care and medicine at King’s Mill Hospital, down to 85 per cent.

Sean Lyons, board chairman, said the decline “is unacceptable and there has to be consequences”.

He said: “There’s an absolute requirement for individuals to be trained in hand hygiene and to demonstrate that at every point of care.”

Commode cleanliness was also poor during the past quarter, at 80 per cent in emergency care and medicine, 61 per cent in planned care and surgery and 58 per cent at Newark Hospital.

The target level for audits is 90 per cent.

Mr Lyons said: “The figures are poor and I would say absolutely unacceptable.”

The acting chief nurse said she had taken “direct action, reminding matrons of their responsibilities”.