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Thursday 27th October 2016

Deadly hospital bug fears

30th January 2007

08012007_testtubeblood1.jpgThe government is failing to win the battle against the superbugs according to new figures which show MRSA infections are not dropping fast enough and Clostridium difficile rates are rising.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency show the MRSA rate fell by 5% to 3,391 during the first three quarters of 2006. The government wants to see the number of cases halved by next year compared to 2004 rates.

Already a leaked memo to ministers has predicted the NHS will miss the target, instead cutting rates by a third.

Experts in healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) have ruled out universal screening of all new hospital admissions, despite government recommendations, due to staff shortages.

The HPA said while the drop was encouraging, it showed there was still much to be done to reach the government target of halving rates by 2008. The figures are being seen as more of a plateau than a significant drop.

At the same time figures for Clostridium difficile (C difficile) show it rose by 5.5% in England during the same time to 42,625. Experts say the rate of increase may be slowing.

There has been no nationally set target to cut rates of C difficile, but NHS trusts have been asked to set their own reduction targets.

Some 90% of the £50m government fund has now been handed out to NHS trusts to invest in new facilities to tackle infections.

The Healthcare Commission described the latest figures as ‘disappointing’.

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