Thompsons Solicitors Partner, Patrick McGuire has expressed serious concerns about new figures which reveal a 24% increase in the number of working-age adults diagnosed with the deadly C-Diff hospital bug.
Mr McGuire who represents the families at the public inquiry into the deaths of 18 people in Scotland’s worst outbreak of C-Diff at Vale of Leven Hospital said:
“I think it is a matter of serious concern that we are seeing such a dramatic rise in Clostridium Difficile cases in Scottish hospitals.
“The danger signs have been there over the last few months as Health Protection Scotland experts have criticised hygiene and infection control standards in hospitals up and down the country.
“The figures are all the more worrying because the Scottish Government has been throwing resources at the problem, and that should have resulted in a reduction of infections, not an increase.”
Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is now looking into the surge, which clashes with a general decline in the incidence of C-Diff during the last two years. They are warning the rapid reduction in the spread of the bug may have stalled.
Figures released by HPS show the number of infections in the 15 to 64 age group rose to 204 in July to September last year, up 24 per cent from 165 the previous quarter.
The rate of C-Diff infection in pensioners, based on the number of cases for the level of hospital activity, also rose between July and September last year, although by the smaller proportion of 2%. This was the first increase since 2008.
Opposition MSPs have warned against complacency in tackling hospital infections, and expressed concerns that staff cutbacks could affect efforts to cut cases.
But Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the total number of C-Diff cases had fallen from 1775 in the first quarter of 2007 to 575 last summer and said the Government would continue to press for improvements.