Shortage of King's Mill cleaning staff led to increase in superbug cases

King's Mill Hospital
King's Mill Hospital

An understaffed cleaning team has been blamed for a rise in the people contracting the potentially deadly superbug C-diff at King’s Mill Hospital.

It comes as six patients contracted the superbug in March, several of who were stroke patients.

The hospital has had to overhaul it’s cleaning regime as a result and the stroke unit cleaning schedule increased to ‘high risk’.

“It was identified that the standards of cleaning on the Stroke Unit had fallen below an acceptable standard, due, in part, to a shortage of cleaning staff and a lack of appreciation of the unintended consequences related to staff.being redistributed, “ an item in the trust board papers says.

The raft of cases led to an investigation, which identified that mattresses were being kept on wards for quick use for severly ill patients, instead of beingh sent for decontamination.

That has been rectified and deep clean ‘fogging’ has been carried out.

Rosie Dixon, nurse consultant for infection prevention, said: “Our record for hospital acquired cases of Clostridium difficile (C.dff) is very strong. In 2017-18 we recorded 39 cases, which was well below the target set for us by NHS England of 48 for the year. This represents the third successive year that we have met our C.diff targets.

“Clearly though we want to see as few cases as possible in our hospitals, and six cases in March 2018 represents a short term change. We have thoroughly investigated and identified reasons for this and acted quickly to resolve them. Our current numbers for April have already returned to expected level.”