Health trust allocates ward to patients with superbug infection

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a HEALTH trust has organised a dedicated ward for patients with a potentially fatal superbug in response to a surge in cases.

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital, in Cottingham, has established the ward at the Castle Hill site after the discovery of 101 cases of Clostridium difficile at both hospitals since April last year – almost double the number expected.

Seven of those who have contracted the bug died.

And Ward 11 at the Infirmary has been closed to new admissions after three patients were found to have the bug.

Trust chief medical officer Yvette Oade said: “This is an issue which we are treating extremely seriously. In many areas of Yorkshire and Humber we have seen a rise in the number of cases of Clostridium difficile and this has been reflected at our trust.

“I came to Hull in October from a trust which was one of the best in the country at preventing and controlling C.difficile. We can and we will get better. Everyone who walks on to a hospital ward, including staff and visitors must adhere to our strict hand-washing guidance and all staff must be bare below the elbows. From April 1 we will be taking a zero tolerance attitude towards this. Furthermore we are looking at our antibiotic prescribing and working with our colleagues in primary care to ensure we are not over prescribing antibiotics as this is a major cause of C.difficile.”