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Hospital cleanliness causes concern

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

With the Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bug causing major concern within the NHS, a woman has died after frequently complaining about a lack of hand washing in her ward. Ann Gregory (81), from Colwyn Bay, was being treated at the Clan Clwyd hospital in Denbighshire, and a community hospital, after suffering a stroke. She had frequently complained to her daughter, Judith Gavin, about the way in which hospital staff took no notice of hand washing reminders, and said she was “appalled” by what she had witnessed in her time at the hospital.

Retired teacher Mrs Gregory, who died in December 2012, was “rigorous” about her own cleanliness. She had reported one instance whereby a member of the clergy had been holding hands with patients while praying, and then continued around the ward without washing his hands. The inquest heard that Mrs Gregory later reported this instance to her ward sister as an example of her cleanliness concerns.

7 deaths as a result of the outbreak

Earlier in the month the health board apologised for their failure to control the C. diff infection in the Clan Clwyd hospital – which saw 96 cases of the infection between January and May. The outbreak saw the highest C. diff infection rates in Wales, with at least 7 patient deaths as a result – 1 of the 7 being Mrs Gregory.

Deputy coroner Nicola Jones said: “It’s not clear as to which hospital she contracted C. diff from, but I’m satisfied it was a hospital-acquired infection.”

Three of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s (BCUHB) senior staff have resigned as a result of the issue. The health board confirmed that a meeting has been arranged with an infection control specialist to help tackle the problem.

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