Hospital still battling with MRSA bug

MANAGERS at Ipswich Hospital last night insisted they are doing all they can to tackle MRSA after claims that the killer bug still infests the facility.

By John Howard

MANAGERS at Ipswich Hospital last night insisted they are doing all they can to tackle MRSA after claims that the killer bug still infests the facility.

The reassurance comes after a national newspaper reported yesterday how an investigation they had undertaken revealed that the hospital is still plagued by MRSA, six weeks after two-day old baby Luke Day became the youngest victim in Britain.

The paper, which carried out its own tests using an expert, reported finding levels almost six times higher than acceptable limits.

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It claimed that high levels of the bacteria were found on ward doors, in corridors and on patient's toilets and telephones.

But a spokeswoman for the hospital said independent inspections show that MRSA rates are falling.

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She said: "We are doing all we can to reduce this. We are asking everyone on the wards to stop and wash their hands and this message is very strongly given to people who come in to the hospital. We do need the community to work with us.

"MRSA is in the community and the hospital is part of the community. About 30% of the population are carriers of MRSA. Controlling infection is a huge priority for us.''

The hospital currently uses bold posters reminding people to wash their hands and staff who are charged with ensuring that infections are combated.

The hospital's assurances come as support has been flooding in for the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to Stamp Out MRSA – just days after we called upon the Government and NHS Trusts to clean up our hospitals.

The crusade, which has already won the backing of MPs and community leaders from around the region, has been designed to pressurise health chiefs into banishing the killer bug from our wards by improving standards of hygiene.

The EADT launched the campaign following the tragic death of 36-hour-old Luke Day, who contracted deadly MRSA after his birth at Ipswich Hospital.

Luke, whose parents live in Woodbridge, became the country's youngest ever victim, losing his life to MRSA-related septicaemia last month.

His heartbroken family have also lent their support to the campaign, urging: "We want to get something done and the bottom line is that we don't want this to happen again."

The EADT is now calling for your support, and is asking readers to sign a petition to force the Government and health bosses to commit to five key pledges.

These include increasing the number of cleaning staff in hospitals, swab-testing people for MRSA prior to admittance and reducing the number of cases in our hospitals.

The remaining two commitments are enforcing compulsory hand-washing for visitors and staff alike and enforcing higher general levels of cleaning on wards.

To show your support, fill out the coupon and sent it to Stamp Out MRSA, East Anglian Daily Times newsdesk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

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