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Health: MRSA and C. difficile

Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 21 February 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many people died as a result of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006; and [HL1610]

How many people died as a result of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in mental illness hospitals in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006; and [HL1611]

How many people died from Clostridium difficile in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006; and [HL1612]

How many people died from Clostridium difficile in mental illness hospitals in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006. [HL1613]

I very much regret the delay in answering the noble Lord's Questions which were transferred to the Treasury on 15 February. The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, National Statistician dated 21 February 2007.

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking:

How many people died as a result of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006. (HL1610);

How many people died as a result of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in mental illness hospitals in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; (c) 2006. (HL 1611);

How many people died from Clostridium difficile in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; and (c) 2006. (HL 1612); and

How many people died from Clostridium difficile in mental illness hospitals in each strategic health authority area in England and Wales in (a) 2004; (b) 2005; (c) 2006. (HL1613)

Analyses of deaths involving methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile in England and Wales are undertaken annually by ONS. The latest year for which figures are currently available is 2004.

Numbers of deaths in 2004 involving MRSA/Clostridium difficile are provided in the table below for strategic health authorities in England, and for Wales.

In 2004 in England and Wales there were seven deaths where MRSA was mentioned on the death certificate, and where the place of death was recorded as a psychiatric hospital. Of these, three certificates specified MRSA as the underlying cause of death. In the same year there were six deaths where Clostridium difficile was mentioned on the death certificate, and where the place of death was a psychiatric hospital. Of these, three certificates specified Clostridium difficile as the underlying cause of death. These figures on deaths in psychiatric hospitals cannot be provided for individual strategic health authorities because they may be potentially disclosive.

ONS publishes annual reports on deaths involving MRSA and Clostridium difficile in Health Statistics Quarterly. The next reports, which will include the first release of data for 2005, will be published in Health Statistics Quarterly 33 on 22 February 2007.

Number of death certificates where MRSA1 and Clostridium difficile2 were (a) mentioned and (b) recorded as the underlying cause of death 3, by Strategic Health Authorities in England, and Wales,4 20045

MRSA

Clostridium difficile

(a)

(b)

(a)

(b)

North East

68

20

125

72

North West

127

28

278

138

Yorkshire and the Humber

115

34

155

74

East Midlands

90

21

137

90

West Midlands

115

39

282

149

East of England

128

48

245

138

London

135

39

239

145

South East Coast

91

31

148

80

South Central

87

31

188

102

South West

136

43

358

199

Wales

75

26

88

55

Total

1,167

360

2,243

1,242

1 Identified using the methodology described in Griffiths C, Lamagni TL, Crowcroft NS, Duckworth G and Rooney C (2004). Trends in MRSA in England and Wales: analysis of morbidity and mortality data for 1993-2002. Health Statistics Quarterly 21, 15-22.

2 Identified using the methodology described in Office for National Statistics (2005) Report: Deaths involving Clostridium difficile: England and Wales, 1999-2004. Health Statistics Quarterly 30, 56-60.

3 Excludes neonatal deaths.

4 Excludes deaths of non-residents. Figures are provided for current boundaries of English Strategic Health Authorities.

5 Deaths occurring in the calendar year 2004.