It has emerged that a new outbreak of the Clostridium difficile (C difficile) bug has been detected at the scandal-hit hospital trust at the centre of previous deadly cases.
Six cases have been reported on one ward stretching back about two weeks at Maidstone Hospital, which is run by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust.
Trust spokesman Paul Bryden said that one patient has returned home to the Netherlands while the five other patients, who were immediately identified with the bug, are currently recovering on side wards.
The ward, which has now been deep cleaned, has received the all-clear from newly-installed infection control chief Dr Sara Mumford, Mr Bryden added.
The trust faced heavy criticism in a Healthcare Commission report last month after it revealed a catalogue of errors allowed the bug to thrive, contributing to outbreaks that were linked to 90 deaths.
Some 345 people died while infected with the bug and more than 1,100 were infected across a two-year period, prompting Health Secretary Alan Johnson to apologise for the “truly scandalous” outbreak.
Trust officials stressed that the C difficile bug was detected promptly in this latest outbreak.
Mr Bryden said: “The important thing is that these cases were picked up promptly and dealt with appropriately.”
Copyright © PA Business 2007