HOSPITALS and other NHS care settings in Worcestershire have had 167 cases of the superbug clostridium difficile which causes violent diarrhoea and stomach pain.

The health economy, which includes acute hospitals like Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester and community hospitals like Evesham and Pershore, has a cap of 176 cases for 2012/13.

The health economy is therefore only nine cases off the countywide cap with two months still to go until the end of the financial year.

Of the 167 cases, 60 were reported at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which has had 60 cases since April, already above its own 52 case cap for 2012/13.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust which runs mental health services and the county’s five community hospitals is within its own cap for cases of the bug.