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Hospital Healthcare Europe

C diff outbreak inquiry called for

4 June, 2008  

An independent auditor has been urged to investigate an outbreak of the deadly bug Clostridium difficile (C diff) which has been linked to seven patient deaths in one hospital.

In April alone, 33 cases of the bug were reported on wards of the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, and Welsh Assembly shadow health minister Jonathan Morgan AM has now called upon the Auditor General to intervene.

“I understand that in April this year 33 patients at the hospital were found with C diff, seven of whom died with it being mentioned on the death certificate,” Mr Morgan said in a letter to Jeremy Colman. “Apparently the figure has risen considerably from 15 last year.

“Whilst I appreciate that your office has already done a considerable amount of work on the challenges faced by our hospitals in combating the spread of infection, I was wondering if you could examine the specific issues at Merthyr.”

Mr Morgan said there was a “significant public interest” in the matter and said that the only way for confidence to be restored was by means of an independent review.

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Wales Audit Office