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Experts appeal for witnesses in C diff investigation

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Medical experts investigating a hospital infection that was linked to 60 deaths have asked people caught up in the scare to help their probe.

Five hospitals were hit by the spread of the C diff bug in the Northern Trust area of Northern Ireland between June 2007 and August 2008.

The patients who died were infected with C diff and had it identified as a factor in their deaths.

Stormont health minister Michael McGimpsey announced a public inquiry into the outbreak in the spring.

The inquiry team, headed by Dame Deirdre Hine, the former chief medical officer of Wales, has just begun the first stage of its work.

Dame Deirdre said the probe aims to document the experiences of patients, relatives, carers and staff during the outbreak.

‘We hope that anyone who was affected by the outbreak will contact us to help us to fulfil the task,’ she said.

‘We urge them to take this opportunity to tell us what happened to them, so we can describe the impact of the outbreak in our report.

‘We will then make recommendations that will help the Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland and elsewhere to take measures to reduce the distress and anxiety caused by such events.’

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