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C diff outbreak hospital to retain services

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A Scottish hospital saw 18 patients die after contracting C diff is to keep 70% of its unscheduled care, despite plans to remove this work completely.

The Vale of Leven hospital in Dumbartonshire, near Glasgow, was threatened with losing most of its inpatient beds, and all unscheduled care, as part of a review of healthcare by its health board in 2004.

But Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has now approved proposals by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that will see the hospital keep most of its unscheduled care and increase its planned care by 20%.

Adoption of the proposals means the hospital’s community maternity service and acute beds for elderly people with mental health problems will also remain on site.

Ms Sturgeon said: ‘My decision puts an end to a decade of damaging uncertainty, and underlines this government’s clear commitment to ensuring that health services are delivered as locally as possible. 

‘Local people can be assured that the Vale has a viable future, and that they will be fully involved in the board’s plans to secure additional developments on the site, such as a new palliative care service and the new Alexandria Health Centre,’ she said.

The C. difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital happened between December 2007 and June 2008, and the disease was found to be the direct cause of nine patient deaths, and a factor in the deaths of nine more.

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