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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Concern over superbug 'reporting'
Microscope view of C-Diff
Clostridium Difficle causes severe diarrhoea
The daughter of a man who died after an operation is calling for more transparency on superbug infections.

Maureen Patten from Lincoln believes her father Dolan caught Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff) at Leicester Royal Infirmary earlier this year.

She said the 80-year-old's death certificate said he died from multi-organ failure following a bowel operation, but does not mention C-Diff.

The NHS trust has agreed to report all C-Diff-related deaths to the coroner.

Severe diarrhoea

An inquest will be held later to determine the exact cause of death.

Mrs Patten said she was concerned that the true figures of deaths from C-Diff are being masked: "It is like the hospital is trying to push this [deaths from C-Diff] to the background a bit.

"C-Diff was never mentioned to me at the time - but he suffered severe diarrhoea which I understand is one of the symptoms of C-Diff."

Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust said that since January 2006, C-Diff has caused 28 patient's deaths and contributed to a further 21 at Leicester hospitals, with a further 29 cases reported to the coroner.

The trust's deputy director of infection prevention and control Caroline Trevithick said: "We have recently introduced a new system within the trust to ensure that where Clostridium Difficile is felt to have caused or contributed to the death of a patient this is recorded on the death certificate and investigated thoroughly.

"In addition we have met with the coroner to ensure that all cases are referred to the coroner for review.

"The trust remains committed to addressing the problem of Clostridium Difficile and work continues to ensure that infection control practices are carried out correctly."

The trust includes Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and Leicester General Hospital.

C-Diff was linked to just under 1,000 deaths in the UK in 2003.

The family of a C Difficile victim speaks out

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