Health watchdogs have praised the work of a Birmingham hospital trust in cutting the risk of superbugs from MRSA to clostridium difficile.

The Healthcare Commission said it was impressed with Heart of England Foundation Trust after making unannounced inspections on its three hospitals, Heartlands, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield’s Good Hope.

It is a boost for the trust, which has strived to improve infection control since being shamed in undercover exposes by the Birmingham Mail and BBC’s Panorama four years ago.

Commission assessors had nothing put praise after visits on September 30 and October 1.

They focused on systems to prevent and control infection, improve cleanliness, the provision of isolation facilities and policies on antimicrobial prescribing, all part of the compulsory hygiene code.

Debbie Mead, trust operations manager, said the Healthcare Commission did not need to make recommendations for change and reported good practice over the trust’s cleaning of beds and areas around them.

“We were pleased with the findings of our unannounced inspections of hospitals in the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust,” said Ms Mead.

“We encourage staff at this trust to maintain vigilance and keep up the focus on infection control.

“Continued careful compliance with the hygiene code helps to minimise the risks of healthcare-associated infection. This is an extremely important issue for patients and they need to know that everything possible is being done to protect them from healthcare-associated infections.”

Measures from pumping millions of pounds into more cleaning, retraining staff on hygiene and creating an MRSA-free ward with anti-bacterial floor and wall coverings have all made a difference.

Heart of England has recorded a fall in MRSA cases over the past two years.