HEALTHCARE workers in Herefordshire are being urged to attack the sickness bug C.diff head on.

The number of cases of the bug, which can range in symptoms from an upset stomach and mild diarrhoea to life-threatening illnesses affecting the bowel, has fallen in recent years across the county.

But hospital staff are still being encouraged to raise awareness of the illness among nursing and residential homes in Herefordshire.

“C.diff is most commonly seen in elderly people, and in particular those who have had antibiotics in the last three months as this will affect the normal operation of the bowel and leave people more vulnerable to contracting C.diff,” said Dr Alison Johnson, a consultant microbiologist with Wye Valley NHS Trust.

Health workers will be sent information which will highlight good practice in all aspects of managing C.diff, including the correct use of antibiotics, recognising the symptoms, how to treat someone with the illness and preventing it spreading. C.diff is caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile.


Picture caption: GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT: Gillian Hill, pictured right, lead infection prevention nurse, and Laura Weston, who is an infection prevention specialist nurse from Wye Valley NHS Trust’s infection prevention team, with some of the material which will be going out to county health workers.