Friday, 29 August 2008

NHS C.diff deaths up 30% in year

DEATHS linked to the C.diff superbug have soared almost 30 per cent in a year, official figures revealed yesterday.

Last year 8,324 people had clostridium difficile when they died — up from 6,480.

The figure is more than twice the 3,757 C.diff mentions on death certificates in 2005 — and four times the 1,804 in 2001.

More than nine in ten died in an NHS hospital, with most of the rest in nursing homes.

But deaths linked to MRSA fell from 1,652 in 2006 to 1,593 last year, the Office for National Statistics said. It was the first time they have dropped since 1993.

The ONS pointed out that some of the C.diff increase may be due to more complete reporting on death certificates.

But shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley blasted the rise, calling PM Gordon Brown’s £50million hospital deep clean programme a “gimmick”.

He said: “The vast majority of these deaths could have been avoided if the Government had taken action at the right time.”

Lib Dem Norman Lamb called the toll “dreadful”.

article here