Superbug outbreak relatives strike out at England's health system

Relatives of patients who were killed by a superbug outbreak in England have struck out angrily at the National Health System for allegedly refusing to accept responsibility.

A total of 18 deaths were recorded from Clostridium difficile at Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, between 2007 and 2008. An additional 37 patients were also affected by C. diff, reports.

A public inquiry into the scandal is expected to be released in May, but a closing submission from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde blamed hospital staff for failing to detect the outbreak.

The NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's submission contains an apology for a "dreadful failure" in care, but families and patients have continued to claim that senior officials have shirked responsibility.

"There is concern that the board is seeking to ­characterize the situation as a local management failure," they claim, reports. "It is the general view of patients and families that the whole organization must accept responsibility."

A three-year public inquiry into the matter was adjourned in October after its chairman fell ill, but heard that nurses were too busy to fill out paperwork and that infected patients were not isolated.