DEEP cleaning has begun on an emergency ward at the Highlands’ flagship hospital after a superbug outbreak.
Health bosses at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness shut Ward 7C after two patients were diagnosed with C.diff.
Dr Jonty Mills, Consultant Microbiologist at Raigmore Hospital, explained that with no new cases of Clostridium difficile in the ward since Monday deep cleaning was able to begin.
He said: “The actions we took were largely to reduce the risk of the infection spreading within the ward environment.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation and I am content that it has now come to an end and deep cleaning can begin. Our domestic team will start this late afternoon today with a view to reopening the ward on Monday.
“All staff involved, which includes the nursing team, infection control, pharmacy, clinical colleagues and our team of domestics, have worked incredibly hard throughout this week to ensure that this is kept under control and there has been no impact on the running of the hospital.”
C.diff is a bacterium which particularly affects patients on strong antibiotics.
It is spread in the faeces through bacteria and by spores which allow the bacteria to survive in the environment. It
is a serious problem for hospitals because many patients are on antibiotics and are also already sick which makes them susceptible.
Dr Mills added: “The risks to healthy patients, visitors and staff is minimal.
“The actions we are taking are largely to reduce the risk of the infection spreading within the ward environment.”