Eight patients die after catching C-diff

The clostridium difficle bug has claimed the lives of eight patients at another Norfolk hospital, it emerged today. But health chiefs at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said it was not the deadly strain which had caused a dramatic rise in deaths at the James Paget Hospital (JPH), in Gorleston.

The clostridium difficle bug has claimed the lives of eight patients at another Norfolk hospital, it emerged today.

But health chiefs at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said it was not the deadly strain which had caused a dramatic rise in deaths at the James Paget Hospital (JPH), in Gorleston.

The deaths at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King's Lynn have occurred during the last three months after the patients, mostly aged over 65, contracted C-diff.

But the deaths were not the result of the deadly 027 strain of the bug which has already claimed the lives of 17 people at the JPH - and most had already contracted the illness, which causes severe diarrhoea, fever and abdominal pain, before entering the hospital.

A spokesman for the QEH, said tonight that the number of deaths was not high in comparison to other hospitals around the country who were all battling to fight the bug.

Ruth May, chief executive at the QEH, said: “Of the patients who died, the majority already came to us with C-diff.

Most Read

“We clearly take our patient care and duties very, very seriously. More needs to be done, but we take our care seriously in terms of infection control.

“We have already had a 25pc drop in cases from last year and we are working hard to reduce hospital infections at the QEH.”

The hospital has taken steps to change its antibiotic prescriptions to tackle the disease and has also appointed a night cleaning service.

It is understood that 276 patients at the QEH, contracted the C-diff bug between April last year and February compared to 369 the previous year.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital there were six deaths from C-diff last year and nine through MRSA.

The N&N had 223 cases of C-diff. The JPH had 226 cases and the West Suffolk Hospital 281.

Earlier this year the QEH had been named as the most improved NHS trust in the country for reducing MRSA after a 73pc fall in the number of cases.