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Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to minimise the spread of the PVL strain of MRSA at NHS hospitals; and if he will make a statement. (162068)

Good infection control practice is important for control of Panton-Valentine Leukocidine (PVL) producing strains of Staphylococcus aureus.

In addition, specific interim guidance on diagnosis and management of PVL-associated Staphylococcal infections in the United Kingdom developed was published on the Department’s website in April 2006. This is available at:


We have asked the Health Protection Agency to review and update this and a revised version will be available shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimates he has made of (a) the incidence of those carrying MRSA, (b) the number of those infected following operations, (c) the incidence of MRSA septicaemia and (d) deaths attributable to MRSA within the private hospital system. (162364)

These data are not collected centrally and we do not produce estimates of infections in private hospital.

The Office for National Statistics produces annual reports into deaths involving methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The last report as published in HSQ 33 in February 2007 and included data for 2005. The reports include information on ‘place of death’. The place an individual dies may not be the same place as where an infection was first contracted.

In England and Wales, between 2001 and 2005, 17 death certificates from persons who died in non-national health service general hospitals mentioned MRSA.