Glasgow & West Scotland

Vale of Leven C.diff inquiry results delayed until 2012

Vale of Leven Hospital
Image caption A total of 55 patients were infected by the bug at the Vale of Leven

The results of an inquiry into Scotland's worst C.diff outbreak, at the Vale of Leven hospital, have been delayed by more than a year.

The team have been investigating the outbreak at the Dunbartonshire hospital, which killed 18 people between December 2007 and June 2008.

The findings were due in May but have been delayed until September 2012.

The Scottish government said the delay was to enable statements and witness evidence to be further investigated.

The affected families have been told.

Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said she was concerned by the delay.

"September 2012 is almost five years since the first person died of C.difficile at the Vale of Leven and two-and-a-half years since the public inquiry first began," she said.

"The inquiry needs to give the families the answers they deserve and enable the NHS to learn lessons so that we never see a similar outbreak in any other Scottish hospital.

"Whilst it is important that they do a thorough job, these delays are deeply frustrating for everyone involved."

'Credible reports'

A total of 55 patients were infected by the bug at the hospital. C.diff was found to be the primary cause of death in nine patients and a contributory factor in another nine deaths.

A Scottish government spokesman said the extension had been granted by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon, after it was requested Lord MacLean, the inquiry chairman.

"It has become apparent to the inquiry that, for these experts to produce high-quality and credible reports, they require additional time," the spokesman said.

"It is extremely important that the final report and its recommendations are robust in order that the Scottish government can consider how these recommendations can assist in continuing to raise the standard of care for patients in Scotland, and that the lessons learned can be shared not just across NHS Scotland but worldwide."

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