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C difficile monitoring system introduced

13th April 2007

A web-based system to monitor Clostridium difficile (C difficile) is being introduced to trusts and PCTs to better achieve targets and identify infection hotspots.

The Department of Health claims that surveillance of this type is key to managing infections and has modelled the system around that of MRSA.

Christine Beasley, chief nursing officer, said: "The MRSA surveillance system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world and our experience has allowed us to learn much more about sources of infection.

"This knowledge has helped hospitals to target these areas and drive MRSA infection rates down and we want to replicate this for C difficile."

All PCTS have targets for reducing C difficile infections and the system will help determine how well these are being met.

One of the benefits of the new system is that it will highlight where cases occur rather than lumping incidences together.

It is hoped that a greater understanding of C difficile at local levels will allow for better preparations in the case of an outbreak.