PERFORMANCE: An analysis of the Tameside and Glossop area’s high rate of C difficile infection in the first three months of 2011-12 has found that the majority of cases were avoidable, and due to inappropriate prescribing.

The primary care trust recorded 59 C difficile cases among its patient population between April and June this year – 55.3 per cent “over trajectory” if it is to stay within its target limit for the year.

A report to the September board, analysing the PCTs position, states: “Evidence from Root Cause Analysis demonstrates that infection control standards by providers are good as there is no evidence of environmental transmission.

“However, the majority of infections are avoidable due to aspects of inappropriate prescribing practice specifically within both acute and primary care. But for some patients there is a combined effect from poor prescribing practice experienced across both sectors.”

Overall, the report states, the North West was 4 per cent over its trajectory at the end of May, but acute trusts in the region were 8 per cent below trajectory at the same point.

It noted that only eight acute trusts had exceeded their year to date trajectories,  one of those being Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust, which had accrued 32 per cent of its annual limit.