C. diff hospital rapped after blood found on equipment

The hospital at the centre of Scotland's worst outbreak of Clostridium difficile has been rapped after dirty equipment was found in its maternity unit.

Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire. Picture: PA
Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire. Picture: PA

Inspectors discovered blood on a birthing mat in a delivery room ready for the next patient as well as blood on a baby resuscitation mask box at the Vale of Leven Hospital, in West Dunbartonshire, during an unannounced visit in April.

Birthing stirrups were found to be marked, and there was dirt on two cot mattresses and an incubator in the midwifery unit.

Equipment that was marked as clean was found to be contaminated in another ward in the hospital.

The inspection praised overall standards of cleanliness but ordered NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to make a number of improvements.


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Jacqui Macrae, Healthcare Improvement Scotland deputy director of quality assurance, said: “We expect NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) to address these areas as a matter of priority and we will continue to monitor the hospital to ensure that standards of safety and cleanliness continue to improve.”

Staff need to be given more resources and support to be able to deliver the best care, said Dumbarton Labour MSP Jackie Baillie.

She added: “Only one-third of staff working in our NHS believe we have enough doctors, nurses and midwives to deliver the high standards we all expect.”

Dr Margaret McGuire, NHS GGC nurse director, said: “The report praises the standard of cleanliness across the majority of wards and departments visited by the inspectors.


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“We have produced an improvement action plan setting out how we are actively working with our staff to ensure that the requirements from this inspection are fully implemented.”

The hospital came under fire when a deadly outbreak of C.diff struck down 143 patients between 2007 and 2008, with the superbug named as a contributory factor in 34 deaths.

A major inquiry in 2014 found there had been systemic failures in care by NHS GGC, which had failed to prevent the infection spreading.

C.diff is an infection of the gut which can be life-threatening when it leads to inflammation of the bowel.