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Wednesday 20th June 2018

MRSA target could be missed

11th January 2007

02082006_MRSA1.jpgThe NHS looks set to miss its target to halve MRSA rates by 2008, says a leaked government memo.

The document sent out to ministers in October also warned of the rising problems of Clostridium difficile, which is now ‘endemic’ throughout the NHS, linked to twice as many deaths as MRSA.

In 2004, then Health Secretary, John Reid pledged the number of MRSA cases would be halved by April next year.

The memo, written by the Department of Health's Director of Health Protection Liz Woodeson, predicted rates would be cut by a third by the deadline.

The government has ignored recommendations that the MRSA target be dropped or delayed to offset a media or public backlash. Instead ministers say they will continue to aim for the original target.

DoH infection experts said achieving the target was not just a matter of extending the deadline, but said the NHS was ‘light years ahead’ of where it had been.

The memo offers six options, five of which concentrate on dropping or changing the target and its timescale.

Experts reported measures to combat MRSA, such as alcohol hand rubs, have had no impact on Clostridium difficile, which can survive for longer periods on surfaces and spread in the air.

Contaminated environments, including staff hands, need to be rigorously cleaned with warm water and detergent to remove spores.

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Joan Moorby

Saturday 20th January 2007 @ 0:41

My beloved uncle has just died after contracting clostridium difficile - post mortem performed because doctors could not be sure of cause of death. After PM listed as Septicemia, Septic Shock, Acute Colitis, the verdict? NATURAL CAUSES. Words escape me.

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