Belfast Hospitals 'Bugged'

Hospital hygiene is again in focus this week as a number of cases of the clostridium difficile (c.diff) bacterium have been identified in the South Eastern Trust area and a second case of tuberculosis has been confirmed at Belfast City Hospital.

A member of staff has contracted the same strain of TB, which infected an elderly patient earlier this year.

However, Belfast Health Trust said today that a third case of tuberculosis has been confirmed at Belfast City Hospital, but there is no proven link to the other two.

As a result, screening has been offered to 43 people who were on the same ward - ward Six North.
News Image
Across Belfast at the The Ulster Hospital, management said there were now seven c. diff cases in total, including one c. diff 027 case at the east Belfast facility.

The trust said the cases had led to enhanced cleaning measures.

Earlier this year, an inquiry into a c. diff outbreak in the Northern Trust area concluded that it was linked to 31 deaths in 2007 and 2008.

To underline the trouble, there has also been an outbreak of the vomiting bug Novovirus at the Ulster Hospital.

The trust said up to 50 patients and staff have been affected with vomiting and diarrhoea, though these may not all be confirmed as being Norovirus.

The virus is present in four wards, but just one has been closed to new admissions because of increased incidences of vomiting and diarrhoea.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 March 2002
Royal Hospital to probe Fertility Centre’s procedures
The Royal Hospitals Trust in Belfast has revealed they are conducting an internal investigation into technical administration procedures employed by the Regional Fertility Centre.
28 October 2009
Flu Funding Halts Bed Cut-Backs
A proposal to close 150 beds in the Belfast Trust area has now been rejected thanks to the recent agreement on extra funding to tackle swine flu. NI Health Minister Michael McGimpsey announced this week that the extra money received for battling swine flu would help relieve some of the financial pressures facing health trusts.
15 January 2009
Ambulances Diverted As Flu Outbreak Grows
The flu has this week hit Northern Ireland hospitals hard - with one facility, Dundonald's Ulster Hospital even having to divert sick patients to other hospitals due to an increased demand on its A&E Department.
17 April 2014
Two More Arrests In Disappeared Case
Two more people have been arrested in relation to an investigation into the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville. On Thursday, police said two women, aged 57 and 60, had been arrested. They were arrested in the Greater Belfast area this morning (17 April) and have been taken to Antrim police station for questioning.
26 June 2009
Poor Hygiene Shuts Vital Ward At Royal
Concerns over cleanliness at one of Northern Ireland's top hospitals are deepening with news that a vital Royal Victoria Hospital ward has been summarily closed after failing an inspection. The neurosurgical facility failed cleanliness standards, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Agency (RQIA) confirmed.