Poor hand hygiene has been blamed for a deadly outbreak of C diff which killed two patients and contributed to the deaths of three others.
An internal report into hygiene compliance at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee found that hand hygiene standards had dropped to 85% in the month before the strain of Clostridium difficile (C diff) took hold in the ward.
It also found that the 027 strain of the bug, which infected seven patients in total, “behaved in a very different way with rapid spread and high mortality”.
Two elderly patients died after contracting the bug during the outbreak on 19 October 2009 which is thought to have taken hold through damaged fabric and furniture in the ward.
The NHS Tayside report said that “the ward team worked on a number of initiatives to improve compliance” following the incident but admitted that it was “difficult to understand why in this instance there was continuing spread” of the C diff infection.