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Derbyshire scheme aims to cut C. diff infections

Derbyshire scheme aims to cut C. diff infections

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Commissioners in Derbyshire have introduced a new initiative to reduce relapses for patients who have been infected with Clostridium difficile. 

Antibiotics can trigger C. difficile relapses, so patients in the area are being given a card to show healthcare professionals to alert them to the infection. 

Derby Hospitals and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts, Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) NHS Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and East Midlands Ambulance Service and Public Health England are working with Erewash, Hardwick, North Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)

The infection Prevention and Control teams at Derby Hospitals and Chesterfield Royal Hospital will issue the cards to patients who have developed C. difficile in hospital while community infection control nurses employed by DCHS will do the same for patients who develop the infection in the community.

Dr Ben Milton, North Derbyshire CCG chair (pictured) said: “The majority of C. difficile cases occur in people who have had antibiotics. 

“This may be in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or care home but can also occur at home without ever going to hospital.” 

Dr Steve Lloyd, chair of NHS Hardwick CCG, said: “If you’re visiting someone in hospital with C. difficile, you can reduce the risk of spreading infection by washing your hands before and after entering the bed space. Alcohol hand gel is not effective against C. difficile spores so the use of soap and water is essential.”

C. difficile is a bacterial infection affecting the digestive system. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include stomach cramps.

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