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Sinn Féin get assurances on Causeway C. Difficile

11 February, 2008

Sinn Féin representatives Francie Brolly MLA and Councillor Billy Leonard have met with senior staff including the Northern Trust's Medical Director, Peter Flanagan at the Causeway Hospital to express public concern over the C Difficile (Clostridium Difficile) outbreak.

They have been assured that the Causeway is putting further practices in place to counter the fight against 'super-bug' which has now been included on the death certificates of 77 people across the North.

Mr Brolly said:

"We wanted to reflect the public concerns that obviously exist. Dr Flanagan told us that although they could not say there wouldn't be further C Diff problems including the possibility of deaths they feel that they are getting on top of the fight.

We queried their approaches on issues such as the cleanliness and antibiotic regimes as well as the inclusion of C Diff on death certificates if it has been responsible for or contributed to a person's death.

We particular want patients and their families to be given all possible information as total openness is the only way forward."

Cllr Leonard added:

"We are determined to keep a critical eye on this issue not only at the Causeway but also across the region. We will constantly review all the issues we raised at the meeting and other contributory issues such as the day care practices. This is an area where the high turnover of patients in and out of the hospital could make the problem worse.

We would also call on the public to be very responsible about the need for visiting at the Causeway and other hospitals and then when at the hospital to wash with the provided materials." ENDS

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