3/30/2007

Superbug outbreak in Norfolk

News that the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk, has had 17 patients die from the superbug C-Dif once again brings home to us that the NHS does not seem to have got control of hospital acquired infections. Read about the latest outbreak HERE.

The questions the NHS does not seem to have answered is why is it so common in the UK, but not in the rest of Europe ?

I head on the radio recently how in The Netherlands it is routine for a nasal swab to be taken to check for some superbugs upon entry to hospital, and those identified to be carrying the bug on them, but not be infected yet are given a simple course of tablets, that neutralise the bug and makes them safe to go on general wards.

The NHS seems to have taken on board none of this best practice from Europe and seems to be relying on alcohol gel, which is only partially effective.

1 comment:

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Nich, just sent to local newspaper:

Dear Sir,

I read Andrew Grimshaw's letter with alarm and concern (No outbreak at hospital, 29th March). Mr Grimshaw, the official spokesman for North Middlesex Hospital, called Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) a "virus". This
is not the case. C. diff is a bacteria which is found in the gut and is kept in check by other bacteria. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria and this leads
to growth of C. diff causing severe diarrhoea. Poor hygiene can increase transmission of strains that are resistant to treatment.

There is all too clearly a minority of staff who provide poor care to extremely vulnerable patients. This can be manifested as poor personal hygiene. These people need to be identified, warned to improve and sacked if
they don't.

I know of two people who have died from C. diff at the North Mid within the last year and I doubt if they were isolated deaths. Mr Grimshaw would argue that two deaths is not an outbreak. True, but it's hardly something to shout
from the rooftops!

Yours faithfully,

Justin Hinchcliffe

Chairman, Tottenham Conservatives

Pages