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C-Diff Compensation Claims

Sufferers of Clostridium Difficile and their families were given encouragement last month in their fight for answers as Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced that an Inquiry into a fatal outbreak of C-Diff is to take place.

There were 6480 deaths in the UK associated with C-Diff in 2006, this number is predicted to be greater in 2007 and the prospects for 2008 remain bleak with the news that 54 people have been treated for the bug at the Vale of Leven Hospital, Dumbartonshire, in the six months between December and June.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde launched an inquiry in May due to fears the infection had been passed between the Vale of Leven Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

It found higher than expected levels of C. diff, or Clostridium difficile, in January, February and May. A total of eight of the patients who contracted the virulent bug - which can cause serious intestinal infections such as colitis - died as a direct result and it was a contributory factor in a further eight deaths.

In light of this Ms Sturgeon stated that "the case for an independent review is overwhelming" qualifying by "The safety of our patients is paramount. A thorough review will take place over the coming weeks to identify the circumstances that led to the situation at the Vale of Leven and I am determined to ensure that the lessons to be learned from this exercise will help us to drive C difficile infection rates down and indeed reduce the risk to patients."

Ms Sturgeon reflected on problems such as bed spacing, lack of wash hand basins, unfit and old commodes and the lack of gloves and aprons for staff. Problems which Thompsons clients have been reporting to us regularly since we began acting for the victims of C-Diff.

The announcement of the Inquiry has been welcomed by all sides of government ahead of the statement to parliament, Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon said she was keen to see the setting up of an independent inquiry.

She said it was important to learn from the experience at the Vale of Leven and to ensure that in future "all NHS health boards follow the protocols and procedures in response to infections in hospitals"

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