On 14th October 2008, the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety advised the Assembly that a public inquiry would be conducted into the outbreak of Clostridium Difficile infection that occurred in Northern Health and Social Care hospitals. The Minister established the Public Inquiry on 31st March 2009.
The Inquiry Report was published on 21st March 2011. The Inquiry had one finding and made twelve recommendations. The Clostridium Difficile Report is now available and can be accessed by selecting Inquiry Report.
The Northern Health and Social Care Trust responded to the findings of the Public Inquiry into the C.difficile outbreak in the Trust in 2008. Chief Executive, Sean Donaghy said,
“On behalf of the Northern Trust I would like to unreservedly apologise to everyone affected by the C.difficile outbreak in the Northern Trust. The Trust deeply regrets the suffering of patients who had C.difficile while in our hospitals and the associated distress for them and their families.
“I would also wish to express my sincere sympathy to the families of those whose loved ones died as a result of having a C.difficile infection.
“On behalf of the Trust Board, I fully accept the recommendations of this Public Inquiry. I wish to thank the Inquiry for their balanced and thoughtful report and for their acknowledgement of the commitment and efforts of staff during the outbreak and since that time.”
“It is clear that for some patients, aspects of their care did not reach the standard expected by the Trust. We have learned from their experience and we have taken action to make improvements.”
According to Wiki sources the NHSCT has seen one of the worst outbreaks of C-Diff in the past ten years with 31 patients dying during the major outbreak in 2007-2008.
For the year 2012 the NHSCT has seen 56 recorded instance of C-Diff, 14 (25%) of which have resulted in death. For only 2 months did the Trust manage to have C- Diff inside targets laid down for them.
- Ulster hospital 111 C-Diff deaths between 2005-2011
- Antrim area hospital 77 C-Diff death between 2005-2011
- Belfast City Hospital 73 C-Diff deaths between 2005-2011
The top offending hospitals are also hospitals that have faced sever pressures on their ability to deal with the demand being placed upon them in recent years.
These figures do not reflect in total where C-Diff was contracted and there may be instances where patients died in an hospital or home due to a C_Diff infection but acquired the infection in a different hospital.