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Report highlights infection fears

The spread of infections and car parking charges are the two major issues facing hospital trusts in Wales, a watchdog report has revealed.

A new system of spot checks on hospitals and self-assessments by NHS trusts found the biggest concerns among staff were the spread of infections, such as Clostridium difficile (C difficile) and the increase of car parking fees at hospital sites.

The report from the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales – “How Good is the NHS in Wales?” – said the reviews found that the majority of NHS trusts are performing well, and are trying to improve.

Dr Peter Higson, chief executive of the body, said: “There’s inevitably variation, but what we think we can be assured about is that NHS Wales is clearly a service committed to delivering the public high quality services.”

But there are still growing fears over infections, after about 2,500 people caught C difficile in Welsh hospitals last year.

Although the figure is lower than that in England, there are still concerns over the presence of such infections at hospital sites.

The report also revealed that car parking facilities are one of the biggest worries for both patients and staff, with some patients fearing they would be clamped if they had no change for a parking meter in an emergency.

Welsh health minister Edwina Hart has said she is “committed to reforming car parking charges”, adding there will be further discussions over the issue in the new year.

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Healthcare Inspectorate Wales