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Monday 24th October 2016

Hospital superbug threat remains

25th July 2007

A review of hospitals has shown that cases of the superbug MRSA are falling in England but rates of clostridium difficile continue to rise.


The findings from the Health Protection Agency revealed hospital MRSA cases had fallen by 10% in the first three months of 2007 compared with a year ago but rates for C difficile were up by 2%.

The HPA said that between April 2006 and March 2007, there were 6,378 cases of MRSA infections reported, compared with 7,096 for the previous year. It reported there were 15,592 reported cases of C difficile in patients aged 65 and over in England in the first quarter of 2007.

A separate survey from the watchdog body the Healthcare Commission found that 45% of the 155 trusts said time targets for treating patients in A&E were getting in the way of infection control measures and 36% of trusts said they were having problems combining investment in cleaning with financial targets.

Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker said: “Trusts should be asking themselves what more they can do to protect patients and the public from healthcare associated infection.��?

The National Audit Office has estimated that these infections cost the NHS £1bn each year, while the NHS Confederation pointed out the figures affected “a very small proportion of the 10 million inpatients��? treated every year.

Health Minister Ann Keen praised the hard work of NHS staff in reducing MRSA infections but added: “We now need to redouble our efforts to tackle C difficile and continue this progress.��?


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