Wales hospital infection rates ‘too high’

Three of north Wales’ main hospitals need major improvement to reduce the risk of infection, a report has found.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has hospitals in Wrexham, Bangor and Bodelwyddan.

Gill Harris, the health board’s executive director of nursing and midwifery, said targets for 2016-17 were missed despite a 25 per cent drop in Clostridium difficile cases and a 9 per cent drop in MRSA cases.

She said: “Rates of infection in BCUHB remain too high and the health board is committed to protecting people from infections. Improvements are needed across a wide range of key clinical practice standards, including the care of invasive devices and antimicrobial prescribing, and the focus of work within BCUHB is on these aspects of care.”

In 2013, the health board, which cares for 694,000 people in north Wales was heavily criticised for its handling of an outbreak of Clostridium difficile after 30 patients died while suffering with the infection at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire.

Improvements at BCUHB, whose hospitals include Glan Clwyd, were said to be ‘very significant’ last year.

It has been the only health board in Wales in special measures for the last two years.

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