INFECTION rates have plummeted at Eastbourne DGH, falling well below regional targets.
The trust, which runs the DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings, has reduced infections for the second year running.
Cases of severe diarrhoea and vomiting, caused by Clostridium difficile (C.diff) bacteria, have dropped significantly below health authority guidelines at East Sussex Healthcare Trust hospitals.
Levels of C.diff have fallen by 64 per cent in three years. The Trust was given a limit of 113 cases of C.diff over the last year and exceeded expectations by recording 72 cases across both hospitals. The Trust also met targets set for cases of MRSA infections – only six patients suffered such infections last year.
Director for infection prevention and control Barry Phillips said, “The infection control team and Trust as a whole has worked tremendously hard over the last year to reduce infection rates. Our clinicians and managers are focused on infection control matters and staff have worked together to ensure the measures brought in over the last couple of years have been successful.
“However, our success in reducing infection rates doesn’t mean we will become complacent as we know we need to keep working hard to ensure we maintain our high standards.”
C.diff cases have fallen following a change in the antibiotic policy and the introduction of antimicrobial pharmacists, who monitor antibiotic prescriptions. The Trust invested in hydrogen peroxide vaporisation units to ensure deep cleaning of medical areas. ‘Link’ nurses have also been placed on every ward to carry out infection control. Each nurse oversees hand hygiene and a trophy is presented to wards and departments around the hospitals who achieve high standards. MRSA rates have reduced thanks to the introduction of a screening programme for planned and emergency admissions.