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East Sussex NHS less than 10 superbug cases away from £44k fine
A Sussex hospital trust is facing the threat of fines of thousands of pounds if it cannot keep down the number of patients struck by a potentially fatal superbug.
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust needs to have no more than 25 cases of clostridium difficile caught by patients staying at its hospitals between April and the end of next March.
However it has already reported 16 cases so far and managers are now urging staff to step up their efforts on infection control.
In a message to staff, chief executive Darren Grayson said cases of C-diff had been going down steadily in recent years but the latest Government-set target was a “tall order”.
He said: “This reduction has been to the credit of everyone who has played their part in reducing the risk of infection by maintaining good hand hygiene and adhering to best practice infection control guidelines.
“But we must constantly remain vigilant when it comes to reducing healthcare acquired infections.”
The trust, which runs Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards, will receive a £44,000 fine from local clinical commissioning groups for every case over its limit.
C-diff causes diarrhoea and colitis, an infection of the intestines.
The bacteria multiplies when antibiotics disturb the natural balance of the body.
Elderly patients and those in intensive care tend to be more vulnerable to the disease as they are the ones who are most often on antibiotics.
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