One third of English NHS trusts are not doing enough to stop the spread of a potentially fatal infection, health watchdogs said on Wednesday.
Clostridium difficile usually causes diarrhea but it can also lead to more serious infections and even death.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the Healthcare Commission, which conducted a joint survey, said one third of healthcare trusts do not routinely follow government guidelines on the management of the infection in their hospitals.
The first set of data from a mandatory reporting scheme last year showed there were over 44,000 cases of the infection reported in people over 65 years of age in England last year.
The two watchdogs did not say how many had died from the disease but the Guardian newspaper reported the toll was almost 1,000 during last year.
“It is deeply worrying that a significant number of trusts are not managing to implement existing guidance on C. difficile,” Marcia Fry, head of operational development at the Healthcare Commission, said in a statement.
English hospitals struggling with killer bug