Hospital infection rates continue to fall

New Year pharmacy times.
New Year pharmacy times.

Rates of hospital acquired Clostridium difficile continue to fall at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

A report going to the Trust board meeting today will show that there were 20 cases of the infection during 2014/15.

This is significantly below the objective set by commissioners for the Trust to see no more than 33 cases during the year. There were no cases at all during March.

The rates have steadily decreased year-on-year and have more than halved since 2010/11.

Viv Duncanson, senior infection control nurse at the Trust said: “Our staff have worked so hard to achieve this reduction in C. difficile rates. The infection control team have found innovative ways to promote good hand hygiene and raise awareness. Recognising excellent practice by means of presenting awards has inspired healthy competition between the wards. Many of our wards have reached the two years free from C. difficile milestone, which is something we are extremely proud of.”

The Trust has been set a new objective to achieve no more than 20 cases of hospital acquired C. difficile during 2015/16.

The board report also highlights the Trust’s performance against a set of key indicators set by Monitor, the regulator of foundation trusts, including A&E waiting times, cancer treatment waiting times and 18 week referral to treatment times.

Cancer waiting times

The Trust has achieved performance above each of the targets. For example Monitor set a minimum requirement for treating 96 per cent of patients within 31 days of their diagnosis. The Trust performance for quarter four was 99 per cent. Meanwhile 100 per cent of patients received their anti-cancer drugs within 31 days (against a target of 98 per cent) and 98.36 per cent with an urgent referral from their GP for suspected cancer were seen within two weeks (against a target of 93 per cent).

A&E waiting times

The report highlights the pressures experienced by the Trust’s emergency departments with A&E attendances rising by 2,070 in March compared to February. Although the Trust failed to meet the 95 per cent target for patients seen within four hours, the performance has improved rising from 87 per cent in January to 93 per cent in March.

18 week waiting times

The Trust met all three of the 18 week waiting time targets for quarter four.