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Calls for action plan to tackle C diff

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A specialist task force in Scotland is considering using a 15-point action plan to tackle hospital infections such as C diff.

A specialist task force in Scotland is considering using a 15-point action plan to tackle hospital infections such as Clostridium difficile (C diff).

The plan, which was drawn up by microbiologist Professor Hugh Pennington, has been presented to ministers as a way of reducing the number of infections in hospitals.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that many of the measures it contains are already in place, but she told MSPs that she has asked the national task force on healthcare associated infections to consider it.

Calls for a tougher approach to hospital infections began after the C diff bug was linked to 18 deaths at the Vale of Leven hospital in West Dunbartonshire.

A "zero tolerance" approach to poor hand hygiene has been brought in, and the Government is piloting a programme where patients are screened for MRSA before they enter hospital as part of measures to cut C diff rates in the over-65 age group by at least 30% by March 2011.

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