HEALTH chiefs in Torbay and South Devon have beaten their targets for reducing cases of the dangerous digestive bug Clostridium difficile.
The number of cases has been reduced below target figures for the past year.
In the community there were 66 instances of C difficile — 11 fewer than their target of 77 — and Torbay Hospital successfully went below its target of 18, with 17 cases reported.
C difficile, which spreads through person-to-person contact, can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramps, fever, and can even be life-threatening.
The announcement of reduced figures comes after South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group ran a 12-month campaign urging people to be aware of the dangers of C difficile and how they can combat the bacteria.
This involved circulating posters and leaflets, offering deep-clean services and issuing cards designed to help people avoid a relapse.
Dr Nick D'Arcy, CCG clinical lead for patient safety and quality, said: "The reduction is brilliant news. To get the figures below 90 is the result of improved standards of care and a lot of hard work, and we shall continue this work to get the figure even lower.
"We will be looking at ways in which we can help people avoid prolonged infections in the future."