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MRSA rates in NHS continue to decline

18th December 2008

New figures show significant falls in the number of MRSA cases in hospitals.

MRSA1

Cases fell by 13% in the last three months and are down 33% compared with the same period last year.

Data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) reveal that in the period July to September there were 725 cases compared with 837 in the preceding three months.

Director of the HPA's centre for infections Professor Mike Catchpole said: "This continued reduction in cases of MRSA is testament to the huge efforts being made across the NHS to tackle the problem of healthcare-associated infections, which remain a big challenge throughout the world.

"To ensure this downward trend continues, we cannot be complacent. We must all play our part - the public and healthcare workers - by ensuring the infection control measures that have made the current fight against MRSA so successful remain in place."

The Healthcare Commission applauded the progress on MRSA rates but is continuing to inspect every hospital trust to check they are taking the necessary measures against all healthcare-associated infections.

The independent watchdog is to extend inspection to primary care trusts, mental health trusts and ambulance trusts.

Chief executive Anna Walker said: "This is big news for patients and a huge credit to all NHS staff. The sustained reductions show that the NHS is coming to grips with MRSA - it must not lose the momentum.

"We are clear NHS trusts are taking infection prevention and control very seriously. This has played a key role in the decline in MRSA rates."

 

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