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Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates changes to the measurement of his Department's target to halve MRSA rates by March 2008 were agreed; and on each date (a) what change was made and (b) which Minister approved the change. (221009)

The target to halve meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections by March 2008 was announced in November 2004. The measurement period was not set at that point. However, the Department worked with strategic health authorities from 2005 on the assumption that achievement of the target would be judged by performance in the first quarter after the target date, i.e. in the quarter April to June 2008. This position was formally agreed with Ministers in February 2007. At no point have we changed how we are measuring the target. It is being measured in the same way as other national targets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2008, Official Report, column 1653W, on MRSA, what examples of where a deep clean has had a demonstrable effect in improving patient care and experience have now been drawn up; and how these have been disseminated across the NHS. (221158)

A number of national health service trusts have sent the Department case studies, which identify a range of activities undertaken as part of the deep clean programme. Trusts have also sent details of some of the initial benefits they have seen as a result of their deep cleaning activities. The Department is compiling a compendium of these case studies which will be published on the Department's website in due course.