Hospital hailed for fighting killer bug

The Norfolk hospital at the centre of outbreak of a killer bug has now become a shining example to other health sites across the countryon how to combat deadly infections.

The Norfolk hospital at the centre of outbreak of a killer bug has now become a shining example to other health sites across the countryon how to combat deadly infections.

Last year, 18 people at the James Paget University Hospital (JPH) in Gorleston died following complications involving clostridium difficile.

From Tuesday, every hospital and trust in Britain will receive a booklet entitled “Clostridium difficile - The experience of one acute hospital in dealing with rising levels of Cdiff and an outbreak of 027 strain”.

The booklet shows how the JPH dramatically reduced Cdiff cases by deep cleaning wards, reducing hospital bays, installing cleaning gel dispensers, isolating patients and making sure staff changed their uniforms every day.


You may also want to watch:


At the height of the four-month 2007 outbreak, 39 new cases of the bug were reported every month.

But because of the JPH anti-infectious bug campaign there were 138 cases of cdiff in the hospital trust in 2007/8 - 262 lower than the NHS aims.

Most Read

Nick Coveney, JPH director of nursing and patient services, said: “The outbreak had a profound effect on the hospital, as well as the patients, and resulted in some significant changes in the way the hospital approaches the management of Cdiff.

“The purpose of the document is to share the learning from the JPH experience and highlight how it is possible to deliver on other performance targets while rapidly reducing the levels of Cdiff to among some of the lowest in the country.”

There was another reason for the JPH to celebrate this week after it was announced that it is one of the leaders in preventing death from blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.

The hospital is one of five nationally named as a Venous Thromboembolism Exemplar site by the NHS and will now be in the frontline of a campaign to help prevent 25,000 people dying every year from blood clots in Britain.

Since 1999, the JPH has employed anticoagulation specialist nurses and pioneered new techniques in prevention and assessment.

The JPH was awarded exemplar status after it was visited and assessed by a high-level NHS delegation earlier in the month.

The JPH annual report for 2007/8 shows the hospital achieved or surpassed 13 out of 14 government health targets for controlling infection diseases, lowering waiting times and A&E and cancer response times.

The hospital also achieved a budget surplus of £2.1m, but failed to meet targets for MRSA cases in the local heathcare system.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter