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C diff inquiry will examine hospital management and clinical response

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The remit has been set for a public inquiry into C difficile deaths at a hospital in Scotland.

Chair Lord MacLean will make recommendations based on the outbreak at Vale of Leven Hospital between 2007 and last year and experiences elsewhere.

He is expected to meet families of patients affected in the near future before beginning the inquiry.

The Scottish government announced its priorities were the circumstances at Vale of Leven, the management and clinical response, how C difficile was recorded, including on death certificates, and what lessons should be learned.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “The terms of reference set out today give Lord MacLean a wide remit to examine what happened at the Vale of Leven in detail.

“The focus of the inquiry is rightly on the 55 infections and 18 deaths associated with C difficile at the Vale of Leven between December 2007 and June 2008.

“But the terms also enable the inquiry to refer to other experiences of C difficile in Scotland or elsewhere, as well as looking at issues such as death certification at the Vale of Leven and Scotland generally.

“I hope this inquiry brings answers for all the families devastated by these deaths and ensures any lessons are shared across NHS Scotland to prevent an outbreak like this from ever happening again.”

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