Latest reported C difficile figures show that between July to September 2008 there were 7,061 cases recorded in patients aged 65 years and over.
This represents a fall of 19% in this age group from the previous quarter, April to June 2008, when the total was 8,696.
This also represents a fall of 35% from the same quarter in 2007 when 10,884 cases were recorded in patients aged 65 years and over, between July and September.
Professor Mike Catchpole, director of the Health Protection Agency’s Centre for Infections said: “NHS staff are working hard to fight healthcare associated infections, such as C difficile, and their hard work is paying off. But winning against these infections will only happen if this hard work continues.
“Healthcare associated infections are a global problem and remain a challenge for all of us. Robust infection control and appropriate use of antibiotics remain key to tackling infections such as C difficile.
“It is important to remember that some healthcare associated infections can arise as the result of the treatment of other life-threatening infections, and as such, can be difficult to avoid. The use of antibiotics in patients who are very sick can leave people susceptible to C difficile which would normally be easily kept at bay in healthy people.
“However, this shouldn’t lead to complacency around tackling the infections that are preventable and engaging in the battle to continually drive down rates of healthcare associated infections. These figures show that there continue to be significant reductions.”