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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 16:43 GMT
New bug boss tackling infections
Maidstone Hospital
A "small outbreak" of six C.diff cases has been declared over
The new person in charge of controlling disease outbreaks in hospitals where 90 people died from a superbug has said cleanliness has improved "enormously".

Dr Sara Mumford is infection prevention and control director at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in Kent.

She said she wanted to "build on the excellent work already done in bringing the [Maidstone] hospital up to a much higher standard than it was".

A "small outbreak" of six C.diff cases in recent weeks has been dealt with.

The deaths from the bug between 2005 and 2006 at the trust were the subject of a damning Healthcare Commission report in October.

Kent Police and the Health and Safety Executive are still reviewing whether any prosecutions could be brought as a result.

Ward deep-cleaning

Speaking on Thursday, Dr Mumford said of her new role: "We have improved the cleaning enormously and we're also taking a very rapid response to all incidences of both C.diff and other infectious diseases, so we can isolate patients and make sure the wards remain clean and infection-free."

A trust spokesman said six cases of C.diff had occurred in one ward at Maidstone Hospital over the past two weeks, the last of them being diagnosed at the weekend.

He said one patient had returned to Holland, the other five were still being treated in isolation on side wards, and the outbreak ward itself had been deep-cleaned and reopened.

Bug levels falling

Extra government money is to be spent on "ward-by-ward" deep-cleaning at the trust's hospitals in December.

Dr Mumford said this would involve "changing all the soft furnishings, and fogging the wards with a hydrogen peroxide mist which gets into all the nooks and crannies".

The Healthcare Commission is due to visit the trust on 12 and 13 December as part of follow-up procedures from its C.diff report.

Trust chief executive Glenn Douglas said levels of C.diff and MRSA were both falling, while the process of rebuilding the senior management team was ongoing following the departure of the chairman and five non-executive directors.

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The trust has a new person in charge of infection control



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