Hospital's new crackdown on superbugs

HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds is to be spent on new equipment and extra housekeeping staff at a hospital in a drive to tackle infections.

Laurence Cawley

HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds is to be spent on new equipment and extra housekeeping staff at a hospital in a drive to tackle infections.

Last year West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds met its targets for controlling the number of MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C-diff) cases and is set to repeat the feat again this year.

The hospital has announced it will be spending an extra �250,000 employing an extra 24 housekeepers and �25,000 on new equipment as part of its programme for stamping out infections within the hospital.


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The equipment monitors blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels and will be installed in side rooms across the hospital so that patients with an infection can be isolated and observed without the risk of the infection spreading. Disposable cuffs will be used alongside the machines to further increase safety.

Earlier this month, the hospital's approach to infections was praised by representatives from medical equipment specialists GE Healthcare.

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“We first introduced fixed machines and disposable cuffs in our highest priority side rooms last October,” said Tracey Oats, senior matron for surgery. “They have proved a huge success, helping us to drive down infection rates across the trust still further.

“These extra measures allow us to monitor isolated patients using specially dedicated equipment, which significantly reduces the risk of the infection spreading to others.

“We believe we are the only hospital in the country to have introduced this system - and it was extremely pleasing to receive such positive feedback from GE's representatives, who described our practices as unique within the UK.”

During the first six months of the current financial year the hospital had 16 cases of C-diff and three cases of MRSA. The hospital will have met its targets if there are fewer than 58 C-diff cases and nine incidents of MRSA are recorded by the end of the year.

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