The Office of National Statistics has published a report this morning showing that between 2005 and 2006 the number of death certificates which mentioned the infection rose by 72% to 6,480, most of which were elderly people. In over half of cases, it was listed as the underlying cause of death.
Those who use Maidstone Hospital or live nearby will not be surprised by these figures. And nor will the hard working nursing staff who have to work within affected wards.
Nursing Times recently reported that nurses were fed up with being blamed for the growth in diseases when they were being told to meet Government targets instead of concentrate on care. Hilary Bulmer, a ward manager at the Kent trust, said: 'As a nurse you're always focused on patients but our [former] trust management were more focused on money and targets'. Colleague and acting ward manager Louise Todd said that the Healthcare Commission's report, which was published in October, supported her view that the trust had lost sight of patient care.
'It was a realisation that patients are not commodities from M&S or Tesco – they're someone's mother or brother or lover in those beds,' she said. 'I think that's what we'd lost sight of, because we were being run in a business-like way.'
I think Nurse Todd's comments are absolutely spot on. It is time to start giving patients the care they need in the environment they need it in, not that determined by someone armed with spreadsheets and a calculator in Westminster.