Health bosses are reviewing superbug-related deaths reported by Midland hospitals as Government figures revealed the region has the worst record in England.
Clostridium difficile was linked to 1,115 deaths in 2006, compared with 534 the previous year.
Shadow Health Minister Stephen O'Brien, who visited Birmingham City University's health faculty yesterday, claimed C diff had caught clinicians by surprise as they tried to tackle rising MRSA rates.
Mr O'Brien suggested healthcare workers had "unwittingly taken their eye off the ball" to meet Government-set MRSA rate targets.
"It is a great worry the West Midlands has had such a bad experience, but that's no excuse for not getting on top of this," he said. "Deep cleaning hospitals once in a while is nothing more than a gimmick. Instead infection control should be ingrained in all clinical practices as well as in the community.
"How difficult can it be to remember to wash your hands?"
During a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Edgbaston last year, Health Secretary Alan Johnson was adamant trusts should adopt a "zero tolerance" approach to superbugs.
But Birmingham health watchdog Councillor Deirdre Alden (Con Edgbaston), who accompanied Mr O'Brien on his visit to BCU's Seacole Building, argued "awareness is no good without action."
Coun Alden added: "Everyone - doctors, nurses, patients and visitors - must be educated about the importance of basic infection control.
"We may be more aware of these issues now, but superbugs like C diff will come back with a vengeance if we don't keep on top of cleaning protocols.
"You only have to look at the impact the recent Norovirus outbreak had on our hospitals."
Last night NHS West Midlands, the region's strategic health authority, said it had been working closely with acute trusts "to encourage more accurate reporting".
A spokeswoman said: "Last year, NHS West Midlands began a review of deaths attributed to MRSA or C diff with all regional hospitals, to ensure that we monitor this situation accurately."