Teaming up for new initiative

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Health bosses have teamed up for a new initiative aimed at reducing the risk of a relapse for patients who have suffered a Clostridium difficile infection.

A course of antibiotics can trigger a relapse of C. difficile so patients are being given a card to show to doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals to alert them to the infection so they can avoid prescribing medication which could cause a relapse.

Cards will be issued by community infection control nurses employed by Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS) NHS Trust to patients who have developed the infection in the community.

Dr Ben Milton, chair of NHS North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), one of the organisations involved in the initiative, said: “The majority of C. difficile cases occur in people who have had antibiotics. This may be in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or care home, but can also occur at home without ever going to hospital.”

C. difficile is a bacterial infection affecting the digestive system. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include stomach cramps.