Falkirk MSP and public health minister Michael Matheson has welcomed new figures which reveal a dramatic fall in infection rates among pensioners.
Cases of life-threatening Clostridium Difficile, known as C.diff, have reduced by almost 79 per cent in patients over the age of 65 in Scotland since 2007.
A Parliamentary question session revealed that, in 2007, there were 6430 cases compared to 1382 in 2012.
And, in Forth Valley alone, the number has dropped from 307 cases to only nine.
Mr Matheson said: “Last year, there were over 5000 fewer people aged 65 or over reported to have C.diff compared with 2007. This is a fantastic achievement and could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our health service.
“There have been falls in infection rates across every NHS board in Scotland, and we must praise the hard work that has been done by NHS staff to help cut infection.
“But every case is one too many, and we need to keep working hard to keep these numbers coming down.
“These figures show the dramatic impact the Scottish Government focus on tackling hospital-acquired infections had had.
“Investment in tackling hospital-acquired infections, bringing cleaning back into the public sector and establishing the healthcare environment inspectorate are all steps taken by the SNP to cut C.diff rates.”