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MRSA

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have contracted MRSA in NHS hospitals in London in each of the last five years. (91582)

Since April 2001, trusts in England have reported all cases of meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemias (bloodstream infections), to the Health Protection Agency. Data covering the period April 2001 to March 2006 were published on 24 July 20061. The data for those trusts in London are summarised in the table.

1 Data are subject to change.

MRSA bacteraemias; London (that is within London Strategic Health Authority: April 2001 to March 2006)

April to March each year:

Number of bacteraemias

2001-02

1,616

2002-03

1,707

2003-04

1,682

2004-05

1,392

2005-06

1,320

Source:

Health Protection Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have been treated for MRSA infection in (a) England and (b) each region in each of the last five years. (91586)

The information requested is not collected centrally. The most reliable data on methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in England are for MRSA bloodstream infections from April 2001 through the mandatory surveillance scheme. Regional data for each six month period from April 2001 to March 2006 were published on 24 July 2006, and these are available on the Health Protection Agency’s website at:

http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/hai/mandatory_ report_2006.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 1060W, on MRSA, what assessment she has made of the reasons for the differences in the rates of increase in MRSA-related deaths in each region; and what steps have been taken to reduce MRSA-related deaths in those regions where it is relatively high. (91733)

The numbers of deaths provided in the answer of 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 1060W, are too small to ascertain whether or not there are differences between regions in the rate of change over time.

However, combating methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other healthcare associated infections is a priority for Government throughout the country. A target, to halve the number of MRSA bloodstream infections by April 2008 is in place and each trust has its own target. This target is supported by a wide ranging programme and includes the “Saving Lives” package of best practice measures all acute trusts have signed up to. In addition, 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.

The recent publication of “the Health Act 2006—Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Health Care Associated Infections”, will also help drive up standards of hygiene and infection control. The Healthcare Commission will assess compliance with the code as part of its ‘annual Healthcheck’ process from 2007-08 and has a new power to issue an ‘improvement notice’ to a national health service body that in its view is not properly observing the code.