Our quality story

C. difficile infections

C. difficile – or Clostridium difficile – are bacteria widely present in the community and in most cases they are harmless.

However, medical treatment with antibiotics, some types of surgery or where someone’s immune system is weakened, can all leave patients vulnerable to C. difficile infection and needing treatment with special types of antibiotics.

What's the standard?

We work hard to minimise the number of C. difficile infections, particularly where these occur as a result of a patient's treatment.

Our aim is to have no C. difficile infections that were caused by a lapse in care.

How are we doing?

We have a consistently low rate of C. difficile infection in our hospitals.

Our recent performance:

  • September 2019 – 0 C. difficile infections occurred due to a 'lapse in care'
  • August – 0
  • July – 0.

While lapses in care are rare, we continue to work hard to avoid these. Each case is investigated so any lessons can be learnt.

How you can help us

If you have previously been infected with C. difficile, please tell our staff before you come into hospital or when you are admitted.

Washing your hands is the single most effective way to reduce your risk of getting this infection. Please wash your hands after using the toilet and before eating or drinking, and encourage your visitors to do the same.

Find out more

For more information, see the NHS website.

Got a question?

If you have a question about or comment on this information, please contact the communications team at communicationsteam@gstt.nhs.uk.

C. difficile infections occurred due to 'a lapse in care' in September 2019.

Help prevent infection – wash your hands

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of infections is to clean your hands.

Even if they look clean, your hands can still carry many germs. That's why cleaning hands regularly is so important.

Page last updated: November 17 2019