C Difficile crisis at Eastbourne District Hospital


13 people have died in a superbug (C. Diff) crisis at NHS Eastbourne district hospital, with another 17 people currently being treated in an isolation ward.

Hospitals which are up to 30 miles away have had to take uninfected patients in bid to control the superbug outbreak.

Clostridium Difficile is a bacterium that presents as one of the normal bacteria in the gut of up to 3% of healthy adults. Those who are unwell have an increased risk of the bacterium multiplying. The bug causes symptoms of diarrhoea and fever and in patients who already have low immune systems especially the elderly and frail, can lead to severe complications resulting in death.

Eastbourne District Hospital had a target rate of no more than 19 cases a month, however the hospital has said that they have had 62 cases already this year, with 30 of them during the month of February.

Michael Summers of the Patients Association comments: "Hospitals have to focus every day on hygiene – if they don't then they're going to get these sorts of outbreaks".

Dr Barry Phillips, Director of Infection Prevention and Control said: "Can I reassure patients and local people that we have the highest possible infection controls in place at the hospital to manage this current problem."

The hospital has taken on more staff in order to cope with the current crisis.

Further information – C Difficile Compensation

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