PERFORMANCE: Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust have challenged the target set by the Department of Health for the number of cases of Clostridium difficile during 2011-12.

As at the end of February 2011 the trust had 64 cases, above the annual threshold of 60 and meaning the trust had missed the target for three successive quarters.

In 2011-12 the Clostridium difficile threshold has been set at 44, based on a nationally applied 29 per cent reduction to a baseline 12 month period commencing September 2009.

A report to the board reveals the “trust has challenged the achievability of 44 as a target” with both the NHS Somerset and the Department of Health. It adds that the DH is “currently in the process of issuing further guidance having started a review of the new testing and its impact on proposed target levels”.

Meanwhile, the PCT has “acknowledged the trust’s position and are agreeable in principle to increasing the threshold”.

According to the report “a number of trusts having challenged the targets set”.

The report also noted that the MRSA target will remain at a threshold of three cases.