CASES of Clostridium ­difficile in hospitals have reached a record low but one major health board has sought expert help after a surge in infection.

New data shows that between January and March this year 270 patients over the age of 65 had the bug, the lowest number since monitoring began.

The figures, from Health Protection Scotland, also showed that 91 patients aged 15 to 64 contracted the infection in the first three months of 2014, again the smallest total since surveillance began.

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However, HPS also noted a statistically significant rise in cases in this age group in NHS Lothian during the last financial year.

NHS Lothian has already appointed extra nurses and started a review of the use of antibiotics which can destroy the so-called "good" flora in their gut.