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Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were infected with (a) clostridium difficile and (b) MRSA as recorded by the mandatory surveillance system, broken down by NHS trust in 2006-07; and what those figures are per 1,000 admissions of patients aged over 65 years. (185564)

The mandatory surveillance system operated for the Department by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) provides data on the number of reports of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection. All acute national health service trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of MRSA bloodstream infections and C. difficile infection processed by their laboratories and the data are published at trust level.

Mandatory surveillance of MRSA bloodstream infections was introduced in April 2001 and in 2004 for C. difficile for patients aged 65 and over, and has been extended to all patients aged two and over from April 2007.

The HPA publishes these data on its website, so this information and any further information on the number of MRSA infections for NHS acute trusts is available at

and the number of C. difficile infections for NHS Acute Trusts is available at:

The quarterly mandatory surveillance data on C. difficile and MRSA are also available in the Library. These will be updated each quarter.

Rates per 1,000 bed days are available for those aged 65 years and over for C. difficile in the above table for C. difficile. Rates for the over-65 age group are not available for MRSA. However, the MRSA enhanced surveillance scheme introduced in 2005 provides limited data. An analysis of data1 for cases diagnosed between April 2006 and March 2007 where age was provided showed that 69 per cent. of cases occurred in people aged 65 years and over.

1 Sources—Health Protection Agency. Surveillance of healthcare associated infections report 2007 (page 21).