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Hospital-Acquired Infections

Volume 533: debated on Tuesday 18 October 2011

The NHS is making significant process toward the zero-tolerance approach that we have made it clear it should adopt in respect of all avoidable health care-associated infections. Over the past 12 months MRSA bloodstream infections have fallen by 29% and C. difficile infections have fallen by 17%.

I thank the Secretary of State for his reply. Will he confirm that the Government will continue with the zero-tolerance approach to hospital-acquired infections as the only sure way to resolve and eradicate this problem?

Yes, my hon. Friend is absolutely right; indeed, we are extending the range and frequency of the publication of data relating to infections to support the NHS in that work. With his commendable consistency, my hon. Friend asked a question on exactly this subject on 8 March, when he raised the issue of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge trust. I am pleased to be able to report that in the past five months C. difficile infections in the trust have fallen by 57% in comparison with the same five months of 2010, while MRSA bloodstream infections have been reduced by 25%. I expect the trust to continue to bear down on those and other infections in future.