To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress his Department has made in reducing the number of healthcare-acquired infections. 
We have introduced a mandatory surveillance system for healthcare associated infection and since April 2001 all acute national health service trusts have reported methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections. The first year's data show that rates tend to be higher in special trusts and in the south and east of the country. An MRSA improvement score will be a performance indicator from July. Surveillance will be extended to other micro-organisms and incidents such as outbreaks of gastro-enteritis later this year.