Hospitals in the UK are not doing enough to prevent the spread of a potentially fatal bacterium, according to a government watchdog.A survey by the Healthcare Commission has found that a third of English trusts do not routinely follow official guideliens.
Marcia Fry is the Commission spokeswoman: “Two thirds of hospitals are putting in place the measures recommended by the guidance, but for a third, there’s still some way to go. And in particular, what we’re concerned about is that control of antibiotic usage is important for prevention and thats not whats happening in some trusts”.
‘Clostridium difficile’ is a micro-organism that can cause diarrhoea and can lead to serious illness and death, with people over the age of 65 particularly at risk. The infection led to 1,000 deaths in 2004. Most of the health experts surveyed said that cases of infection were rîsing.
Overuse of antibiotics has been highlighted as a possible cause.
Over a third of trusts also said they could not isolate patients who were affected. Only 11 percent of trusts have a specially dedicated isolation ward.