Stafford Hospital: Trust fined for missing infection targets

Stafford Hospital in February 2013 A public inquiry was triggered at Stafford Hospital after a higher than expected number of deaths at the trust

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The trust in charge of scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has apologised after it was fined almost £700,000 for missing infection targets.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust incurred the penalty over clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection control standards.

It was also fined £14,000 after 14 in-patients spent the night in A&E due to a bed shortage in February.

Chief executive Maggie Oldham apologised and said the trust was "working hard" to prevent a recurrence.

"These breaches were unconnected and affected a small number of patients," she added.

Dr Anne Marie Holder, from Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group, which imposed the £699,364 penalty, said C. diff infections were "very serious".

The trust's director of nursing, Suzanne Banks, said the University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust had reviewed Mid Staffordshire's infection control procedures in February.

"We have not had any outbreaks of C. diff at Mid Staffs," she said.

"There have been no links between any of the cases which have occurred, which indicates that our many infection prevention measures are and continue to be effective in preventing the virus from spreading to other patients."

The trust was criticised in February 2013 in a public inquiry headed by Robert Francis QC for causing the "suffering of hundreds of people" under its care between 2005 and 2008.

The inquiry criticised the cost-cutting and target-chasing culture that had developed at the trust.

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