Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Viewpoint: Beating superbugs

The news that three more deaths have been reported from Clostridium Difficile in the Northern trust area will be accompanied by fresh public concern over hospital superbugs.

There were more than 40 cases of C. Diff in the Northern trust's area in March, a sign that a significant epidemic is under way.

To its credit, the trust acknowledges it has a major problem, particularly at Antrim and Causeway hospitals.

The Government should be doing more to tackle the epidemics of MRSA and C. Diff that are being blamed for as many as 7,500 deaths a year nationally.

The UK's record in this field is deplorable. A separate development today, however, is more welcome.

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is enlisting the public to help fight hospital-acquired infections.

It has issued a list of four simple rules that include hand-washing and restrictions on visiting.

In tandem with new staff rules and better cleaning policies, medical chiefs believe the new visitor guidelines will be a valuable weapon.

It is a common-sense policy that hopefully will meet no resistance.

The public must understand that we, too, have a role to play in fighting the superbugs.

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