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No charges for hospital managers

Managers at a hospital where more than 30 patients died following repeated outbreaks of Clostridium difficile will not face criminal proceedings, it has been announced.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it has not found sufficient evidence to start proceedings against senior staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury.

Around 334 patients were infected with C difficile at the hospital between October 2003 and June 2005, and at least 33 of them died.

An HSE report did find breaches relating to keeping documents, but these were not directly linked to any of the deaths and were of a “relatively minor nature”.

But the organisation did raise concerns over the fact that the trust did not have a contingency plan to help managers respond to any outbreak.

Trust chief executive Anne Eden said: “The report is extremely encouraging and I believe gives a fair assessment of the hard work that has taken place throughout the trust.

“But we can never be complacent, and will continue to strive to realise our aim to eliminate avoidable infections in our hospitals.”

She added: “It is important that we do not forget the lessons of the past, and the fact that the Healthcare Commission’s original investigation was prompted by a tragic episode in the trust’s history.

“I would like to express my sincerest sympathies to all those affected.”

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