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13th August 2013

Health board apologises over failure to control C.difficle rates

North Wales' Betsi Cadwaladr Univerisity Health Board has today (August 13) apologised to patients over a rise in C.difficile infections in one of its hospitals.

The apology comes after an inquiry into higher than normal Clostridium difficile (c.difficile) infection rates at Denbighshire's Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

The inquiry was carried out by Cardiff University's Professor Brian Duerden, an expert in hospital acquired infections.

His report said more needed to be done to improve infection prevention and control. Professor Duerden was brought in by the health board in June to investigate a rise in the number of patients with C.difficile at the hospital between January and May this year.

A previous report by Public Health Wales had already highlighted problems with the systems in place to monitor and manage infection control issues within the health board.

Health Board's apology to patients

Newly appointed executive director of nursing, midwifery and patient services at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Healthboard, Mrs Angela Hopkins, said today: “First we must apologise to the people of North Wales that our infection control practices have not been as good as they should have been.

“This has again been made clear in Prof Duerden’s important and helpful report and we are acting quickly to make sure that the shortcomings that he has identified are addressed.”

She added: “We have made it clear that we have an attitude of ‘zero-tolerance’ to preventable infection across the organisation.  As an immediate step I have brought in a leading expert in infection prevention to work with us in North Wales as we improve our wider infection control services."

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