C. diff cases to cost millions

Bassetlaw health chiefs are facing a fine of up to £3.5million for failing to meet their target for a life-threatening bug.

Guardian News
Guardian News

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has seen 43 cases of C. difficile in its hospitals since April last year. Its target was 36.

The board of governors meeting heard on Tuesday that the trust will be fined £500,000 for every case of C.diff over the target amount.

David Pratt, director of finance, information and procurement, told the meeting the fine for failing to hit the target could cost the trust £3.5million.

“It costs half a million for every one of the cases over the target,” he added.

Governors were told that a number of actions had been carried out to reduce the number of C. diff cases.

A deep clean and Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour fogging programme continued at Doncaster Royal Infirmary hotspots and at Bassetlaw Hospital, as well as deep cleans of the toilets in certain wards. Hand hygiene wipes are being offered to patients before meals and to bedfast patients and emphasis has been placed on appropriate antimicrobial prescribing. Daily equipment cleaning continues in the hospitals and a nursing equipment daily checklist has been increased to daily for hotspot wards.

Deirdre Fowler, director of nursing and quality said the ‘major challenge’ against C. diff was at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and that it tended to be the sicker patients who caught it.

Trust chairman Chris Scholey said they were taking the issue of C.diff seriously and that it had improved a lot when compared to the 168 cases it had four years ago.

He added that ‘no stone will be left unturned’ to improve the C. diff situation.