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Police quiz NHS nurses over fatal Clostridium difficile (C.diff) outbreak at hospital

Nurses at an NHS hospital in Scotland are being questioned by police over an outbreak of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) last year.

The police inquiry follows an internal review of the outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital, which is run by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board.

They will decide if there are any grounds for further actions including criminal proceedings over the outbreak, which claimed 18 lives between December 2007 and June last year.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: ‘NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is co-operating fully with Strathclyde Police as they continue with their inquiries into the C-dif outbreak at the Vale of Leven Hospital.’

Norman Provan, associate director of employment relations at RCN Scotland, said the organisation was offering legal advice to nurses prior to their police interviews.


Readers' comments (3)

  • I would like to think there is more to this story than the short article. What has nursing come too? Hospitals can do alot to improve cleanliness and the spread of disease, but I don't believe there will ever be such a thing as an aseptic hospital.
    A basic understanding of the nature of bacteria and viruses will help you understand that they are the most sucessful lifeform on Earth. Control them maybe, irradicate no.
    Blaming nurses for hospital aquired infections is not helping the problem.
    We all have a collective responsibility for the NHS, pointing fingers won't solve this.

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  • Yes, i agree blaming nurses for te out break of infection will not solve any problem.I believe it's high time UK nurses were appreaciated. The best way to deal with this issues is to motivate nurses on hand wash technique together with patients and families as well. Please do not demotivate nurses! I believe that the more we praise nurses for their excellent work they do in NHS the more we will all get best results out of this. Displaying a negative image on nurses will scare some away to this fulfilling career.

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  • Is this another example of 'something has cocked up in the NHS, lets blame the Nurses'?

    What about all the doctors/MDT members/middle managers etc who wonder in and out of wards? What about patients families and friends who wander in off the street carrying god knows what and sitting on beds/not washing hands/bringing in food/drink etc, what about the patients themselves? Are they always the most clean and hygienic of people?? No, they are not.

    Nurses are the one group who probably have the best infection control techniques as it is drummed into us like a Sunday prayer!!!

    If this situation continues where Nurses are going to risk losing careers or going to jail even for the failures of a system as a whole or - slightly off topic - even the uninformed and often biased opinions of the public and patients with only the bare minimum of protection from our so called unions and governing bodies, then a lot of Nurses are going to decide that the job is not worth the risk it is putting them in.

    We need much much stronger legal and proffessional protection for Nurses NOW!!!!!!!!!!

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