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Welsh to expand C. diff monitoring range

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Data on everyone aged two or above with a confirmed case of Clostridium difficile infection in Wales is to be published from September.

Until now, only those aged 65 and over were published but this is now set to change in line with England, which has been publishing the data on everyone infected over the age of two from April 2007 onwards.

Scotland only publishes data on those aged 65 and over and is unlikely to change in the near future. Northern Ireland is the same.

To improve consistency, the Welsh Assembly is also bringing in a new protocol for testing for the infection. The plans follow advice from the Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection team at the National Public Health Service for Wales.

The first figures will include all patients confirmed with C. difficile between January and June 2008.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Tony Jewell said: ‘Due to concerns about the increased rate of C.difficile in the over two age group in England, the Assembly Government asked the Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection team to look at how data can be published in Wales for surveillance and benchmarking.

‘The protocol will enable us to compare data more effectively. We will also be looking at publishing information on the severity of the infection for the patient.’

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