Hospital celebrates MRSA crackdown

NO cases of MRSA were reported at Ipswich Hospital in January - the first time in seven years it has been kept at zero.

Craig Robinson

NO cases of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were reported at Ipswich Hospital in January - the first time in seven years it has been kept at zero.

Infection control chiefs at Heath Road are also on track for this month, with no MRSA bacteraemias detected so far, it has emerged.

The Department of Health has warned hospital bosses there should be no more than 21 cases of the infection for the year up until March - so far there have been 15.

January was the first time since recording began in 2001 that there has been a month without a single case of the super-bug.

The hospital is also on course to meet its target for Clostridium difficile (C-diff) for the year.

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Gwen Collins, director of infection prevention and control at Ipswich Hospital, said hopefully this latest news was a sign of things to come.

“It is our aim to be an infection free hospital so an MRSA free month is a huge boost,” she said. “We still see every case of infection as one case too many and we ask for the public's continued support in this ongoing battle by being vigilant when they visit.”

Last year Ipswich Hospital introduced a series of anti-infection measures in a bid to drive down levels of MRSA.

This included reducing visiting times, a 20 ward programme of deep cleaning, equipment upgrading, launching a major hand washing campaign and opening a specialist isolation ward for those who were infected.