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Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has commissioned into best practice in preventing MRSA, with particular reference to overseas examples. [116436]

No research has been specifically commissioned with a focus on identifying best practice in preventing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).However, a broad strategic programme of research has recently been commissioned aimed at improving our scientific understanding of antimicrobial resistance. Over £2.5 million worth of research has been commissioned during the past six months, following an open competitive call for research proposals, and following rigorous peer review.A number of these research projects will provide useful information relating to best practice in preventing MRSA. Those that relate most closely include the following:

A project at the University of Leeds and Leeds General Infirmary entitled, 'What is the size and nature of the current need for single room isolation in hospital, and how does success or failure to isolate patients affect the control of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.'
A project at Thames Valley University, London entitled, 'Collaborative research to reduce the incidence of hospital ward-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation/infection, using Statistical Process Control (SPC) feedback and structured diagnosis of the underlying causes of MRSA acquisition.'
A project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine entitled, 'Faster testing for MRS—Models to estimate the cost-effectiveness of faster testing of cases admitted for hip and knee replacement.'