Belfast Telegraph

C. difficile outbreak confirmed at Dunmurry Manor care home

A C. difficile infection has broken out at the scandal hit Dunmurry Manor care home, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed.

The bacterial infection, which causes diarrhoea and fever, was confirmed at the care home on Monday.

The home, which is run by Runwood Care Homes, has been in the media spotlight after a report by the Commissioner for Older People found a "horrific catalogue of inhuman and degrading treatment" took place at the home over a 39 month period.

Dr Muhammad Sartaj, consultant in health protection, PHA, said: “C. diff is a bacterium (germ) which some people carry in their bowel without becoming ill. It is normally kept under control by the ‘good’ bacteria in the bowel. C. diff normally doesn’t cause any problems in healthy people.

"However, when these good bacteria are killed by antibiotics, C. diff is able to multiply and produce toxins (poisons) which may cause diarrhoea.

"In addition, C. diff produces spores. A spore is a germ with a coat that enables it to survive for a long time in the environment.

“The PHA has been working with this facility following the report of the first case. Public health and infection control advice has been provided and supported with facility visits, more of which will take place this week.”

Meanwhile, the Public Prosecution Service has said it considered whether there was enough evidence to prosecute three people who worked at the home.

A PPS spokesperson said:  “The PPS received a file from police in April 2018 relating to the alleged wilful ill-treatment of a patient at Dunmurry Manor Nursing Home prior to her death in 2016.

“A Senior Public Prosecutor considered all the available evidence and decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the three suspects.

“We understand that this decision may be distressing for the patient’s family and we are happy to meet with them to answer any questions they might have in relation to this decision.

“Contact will be made with the family shortly to offer them this opportunity."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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