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MRSA: Greater London

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile there are at (i) Barnet hospital, (ii) Royal Free hospital and (iii) Northwick Park; how many there were in 2006-07; and what steps are being taken to reduce the incidence of these and other hospital-acquired infections in each hospital. (178173)

The number of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia reports and of clostridium difficile reports during 2006-07, for the hospitals concerned, are set out in the following table1.

1 Data are provisional and subject to corrections that would be incorporated in future publications by the Health Protection Agency on its website:

MRSA bacteraemia reports: April 2006 to March 2007

C. difficile reports for patients aged >65 years: April 2006 to March 20071

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust



The Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust



North West London Hospitals NHS Trust



1 Mandatory surveillance of C. difficile began in January 2004. Prior to availability of quarterly data from January 2006, (first published in January 2007), they have been published only by calendar year. The data used in this answer are derived by aggregating quarterly data, to calculate the total for the financial year 2006-07.

2 These data include one or more cases that have been dually reported, or accepted as extenuating circumstances.

The steps being taken to reduce the incidents of health care associated infections are summarised in the written ministerial statement of 9 January 2008, Official Report, columns 9-10WS about a new comprehensive strategy, “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing infections and saving lives” to tackle health care associated infections and improve cleanliness in the national health service.

The strategy draws together recent initiatives and details new areas where the NHS should invest Government funding of £270 million per year by 2010-11. It also sets out where there are new national expectations and requirements, for example about the new national target for C. difficile and the requirements for the deep cleaning every hospital by March 2008. It also outlines areas, such as investment in infection control nurses, pharmacists and isolation nurses, that NHS organisations should consider when developing their local plans.

Copies of both the written ministerial statement and the strategy, “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing infections and saving lives”, are available in the Library.