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C diff deaths down by 31%

Published 29th September, 2011 by Neil Nixon

C diff deaths down by 31%

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has announced that the number of death certificates mentioning Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection in England and Wales decreased by 31% in 2010, down to 2704 from 3933 in 2009.

A total of 42% of death certificates referenced C. difficile in 2010, where the infection was recorded as the underlying cause of mortality. This figure is compares favourably to the median of 49% over the period 1999 to 2010.

Mark Woodhead, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, commented: "The drop we have seen in C. difficile infections over the past year is a substantial achievement and credit should be given to the hard work of NHS staff who have demonstrated the benefits of focusing on infection control. However, while progress has been made, a multi-faceted approach that maintains a relentless focus on high-levels of cleanliness, best practice guidance and greater infection control staff must be continued if we are to drive down infection rates even further.”

C. difficile can be spread by the hands of healthcare staff, patients and visitors that come into contact with infected patients or contaminated surfaces. Improved disinfection measures, rigorous cleaning regimes and routine hand-washing have all been cited in research as measures which can help reduce the spread of infection.

The British Cleaning Council will hold a session on sustainable cleaning at its annual conference in London on the 11 October.

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