PERFORMANCE: The trust currently has 11 recorded cases of Clostridium difficile infection in 2012-13 against a plan for the year to date of six, commissioner board papers state.

NHS Merseyside’s latest performance report adds that St Helen’s and Knowsley “has reported the only trend identified through Root Cause Analysis (RCA) was that a number of the patients had been managed on the orthopaedics unit”.

It continues: “In terms of clinical practice and cleanliness, antibiotic stewardship in the areas concerned was deemed to be excellent via antibiotic audit, and scores for cleanliness and hand hygiene were also high.

“Despite high scores in prescribing and cleanliness, the Trust is continuing to target the orthopaedic unit to ensure that good practice is sustained. NHS Merseyside awaits copies of the RCAs to determine whether any of the infections were unavoidable and suitable for submission under the regional [healthcare-acquired infections] appeals process. It is predicted the Trust will not be back on trajectory against plan until at least November 2012. This is because an executive decision was taken to retain the higher monthly numbers until the latter part of the year.”