Scottish C.difficile review points to need for governance improvements

An independent review into failures at the Vale of Leven Hospital in Dunbartonshire recommends the development of policies on “the governance of infection control, the development of clinical leadership to board level, improvements to patient communication, maintenance of a safe environment and death certification practices”.

The review, carried out by the Department of Public Health at Aberdeen University, examined how an outbreak of Clostridium difficile led to the deaths of nine people, and contributed to the deaths of nine more. The review report has been passed to the procurator fiscal to see if charges should be brought.

The report said: “The facilities at the Vale of Leven Hospital were inadequate for effective patient isolation and infection control, and there were frequent patient transfers between wards and other hospitals during this period.

The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said that “NHS Boards should be in no doubt – leadership, governance and accountability are the means by which patients and the families can have confidence in our hospitals.”

For further information, including access to the Aberdeen University report click here.

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