Hospital misses MRSA targets

BOSSES at one of the region's busiest hospitals last night reiterated their pledge to cut levels of MRSA after latest figures showed they were failing to meet targets.

BOSSES at one of the region's busiest hospitals last night reiterated their pledge to cut levels of MRSA after latest figures showed they were failing to meet targets.

According to a report for the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) there were 44 cases of the superbug at Ipswich Hospital between April 2006 and January this year.

The aim was to have no more than 32 cases within the whole of this financial year - a target which has already been comfortably exceeded with two months left.

The findings come in the week that a coroner ruled a newborn baby died from MRSA after contracting the infection while at Ipswich Hospital.


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Luke Day, whose parents Glynis Day and Kevin Fenton are from Woodbridge, became the youngest victim of the killer bug when he died in February 2005 at just 36 hours old.

Last night Julie Fenton, Luke's grandmother, said the latest figures were “disappointing”.

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“The hospital assured us they were making changes but it just seems that for whatever reason the message isn't getting across,” she said.

“How long does it take to wash your hands? It's a simple thing to have to do and can stop people getting sick.

“It's very disappointing when you hear things like this because we never want anybody to have to go through what's happened to us.”

According to the performance report, which will be considered at a board meeting of the SHA today, the number of positive MRSA blood cultures recorded by hospitals in the east of England dropped by 118 (21%) between April last year and January this year compared to the same period in 2005-6.

Although this has been rated as an “outstanding” achievement, the health authority warns there is still room for improvement as only four of the region's 18 hospitals remain were within their targets.

The highest levels of MRSA were at Ipswich, East and North Hertfordshire, West Hertfordshire and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, the report says.

Last night a spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said they were aware their target had been missed and that reducing both the transmission of MRSA and the number of infections was one of the highest clinical priorities.

“We recognise that we have a way to go to achieve this ambition but the hospital board have pledged to make sure we tackle this issue,” she said. “In order to be able to do this we need the co-operation of the local community.

“We've already done that by asking people not to visit if they have a cold or infection and by asking them, if they do visit, to wash their hands using the alcohol gel before they enter a clinical area and when they leave.

“The response has been fantastic but we need more people to be aware of the procedures. While the challenge is ours we hope the community will support us as well.”

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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