Heather Wood, lead author of the Healthcare Commission's report said that: "For many of these patients there may well have been a good chance that they would have recovered if all steps had been taken. I would think the lessons, not just about cleanliness, hygiene and infection control, but the care provided to patients who contract C.difficile is something that has wider lessons for the NHS."
Nigel Ellis, the head of the Commission's investigation said: "The hospital trust didn't even pick up the first of the two outbreaks; wasn't aware that it was an outbreak at the time. And when the second outbreak came about, they were still not quick enough to act to take the steps that we would consider to be reasonable. presumably their priorities were elsewhere."
What this boils down to is the fact that C.difficile was definitely or probably the main cause of death for 90 patients at the trust. The trust's chief executive, Rose Gibb has resigned, but the commission said that a full review of the trust's leadership was needed.
Not surprisingly Health Secretary Alan Johnson denied the problems were caused by staff being put under pressures to meet government A and E targets. He said that the report's findings were "a scandal" and that "There is no excuse for what happened at this particular trust."
Alan Johnson can waffle all he likes, but the commission said that there was a shortage of nurses. If we are (as Alistair Darling tells us) putting so much money into the NHS, why are Hospitals short of nurses? So short in fact, that the commission reported that nurses were so rushed off their feet, they did not have time to wash their hands or take patients to the toilet. Patients were told to go in their beds and were left to lie in their own excrement.
Where is the money going?