MRSA Infections Fall at West Middlesex Hospital

Trust take steps to control outbreak - starting with washing hands

West Middlesex Hospital reported 34 cases of the MRSA 'superbug' in the year to April 2004, a fall of 7 cases from the previous year

Figures released by the Department of Health show that there was just under one incident of MRSA for every 4000 'bed-nights'. Only one form of MRSA - bloodstream infections - was measured. The worst performing hospital was Guys which showed nearly double the rate of infections. Hammersmith Hospital also performed badly in the survey, with the third-worst set of figures.

In total, 155 Specialist and General Acute hospitals were ranked in order of the average cases of MRSA per visit. Only 26 hospitals had a worse record than West Middlesex. The position is worse when Specialist hospitals are removed from the table, with only seven hospitals recording a higher proportion of cases.

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is just one of the infections patients can develop in hospital, but it is the focus of public, government and the health service because of its resistance to treatment.


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The government announced on Monday it was bringing in further measures, such as bringing in overseas experts and publication of infection rates, in a bid to reduce rates. The UK has one of the highest levels of hospital infections in Europe.

Infections, including MRSA, can be a problem in any hospital. The Trust recently made infection control training mandatory for all members of staff and has detailed policies and procedures relating to how patients are nursed. These cover hygiene standards recommendations, including hand hygiene - washing hands between each patient visit. An Infection Control Team, made up of microbiologists and two specialist nurses, is responsible for monitoring these standards and for managing the risk of infection for patients and staff alike.

14 July 2004

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