[holding answer 5 July 2006]: Combating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other health care associated infections (HCAIs), continues to be a priority for Government. A target to reduce the number of MRSA bloodstream infections by half by April 2008 is in place and each trust has its own target. The total number of these infections in 2004-05 was 7,212, compared with 7,684 in 2003-04. Figures for 2005-06 will be published later this month.
All acute trusts have signed up to a “Saving Lives” package of best practice measures. The Department continues to engage those trusts facing the most significant challenges and it will seek to work with trusts most likely to benefit from support tailored to their organisational needs. Additionally, the Health Act, which received Royal Assent on 19 July, intends through the new code of practice, to give a statutory footing to what is already accepted as best practice—thus driving up standards of hygiene and infection control.