Response to Queries on GROS Data

The General Register Office for Scotland has published information today taken from an analysis of death certificates filed across Scotland. This information includes situations where clostridium difficile is listed as an underlying or contributory cause of death.

Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian, said:

 “Reducing healthcare-associated infection is a top priority for NHS Lothian. Every case of C Diff is followed up systematically – we always try to learn lessons and minimise the risk of future infections. Where someone with C Diff dies, even if it is not the cause of death, the lead consultant undertakes a detailed case review.
“The data published today shows the number of deaths where clostridium difficile was the underlying cause reduced from seven to three at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2008.
“Clostridium difficile is circulating in the community and it is not possible in some cases to pinpoint exactly where it was acquired. However we have reduced the number of cases found in our area in recent years and are on track to achieve our target of a 30% reduction in c diff infections by 2011 and a 40% reduction in MRSA by the end of March next year.
“Our hospitals meet the national cleanliness standards consistently and hand hygiene rates are continuing to improve with high levels of compliance by staff, patients and visitors. We are also adjusting the medicines some patients receive to make them less susceptible to the c diff infection.”