Cases of a fatal bacteria infection at Epsom, St Helier and Sutton hospitals have been cut by nearly 50 per cent.

Health Protection Agency figures show that the number of cases of C. difficile at the Trust was 26 between July and September 2008, compared to 47 in April to June.

The Trust recently announced a drop of almost two thirds in the number of cases of MRSA.

Chief Executive Samantha Jones said: “We know the public are concerned about healthcare acquired infections like C. difficile and MRSA. Our new figures for both should reassure them that we are doing all we can to minimise the number of infections at all of our hospitals.

Meanwhile doctors and nurses all three hospitals are calling on local people not to visit if they are suffering from winter-related viral infections in an effort to stop them spreading to patients.

Top of the list of bugs are the winter vomiting bug Norovirus and Influenza, which are both very infectious and can be brought into hospitals by patients with the ability to cause outbreaks on wards.

Consultant microbiologist Dr Sharon Chambers said: “Norovirus and flu are very common conditions at this time of year and spread easily in big organisations like hospitals and schools.

“They spread very easily to patients, making their recovery more difficult.”