MRSA cases fall in Suffolk

CASES of superbug MRSA have dramatically fallen in the region's hospitals, new figures show.

CASES of superbug MRSA have dramatically fallen in the region's hospitals, new figures show.

Just three cases have been reported at Ipswich Hospital in the first six months of this year, compared to 17 for the same period in 2007.

At West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds there were no cases of MRSA at all for the first six months of the year compared to 10 for the same period the previous year.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital - saw seven cases between January and June - down from 11 for the first six months of 2007.

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Jan Rowsell, spokesperson for Ipswich Hospital, said: “We are absolutely delighted to see this very significant fall. It really is a team effort. First of all it is down to our staff and then our patients and visitors. It really is down to everyone that uses the hospital. But we are not complacent and know there is a way to go before we get to where we want to be which is infection free.”

Dr Caroline Barker, infection control doctor at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “We have made significant progress in reducing the number of healthcare associated infections occurring at the hospital.

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“This is thanks to a large capital investment on items such as new sensor taps and steam cleaners, as well as the diligence of staff, patients and visitors, who have taken on board the hand hygiene message by using the gel provided on each ward.”

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust also revealed that it has recorded three cases of MRSA since June, meaning that it was on the way to achieving its target of no more than 15 cases in 2008/9.

The Health Protection Agency's (HPA) quarterly report found that 836 cases of MRSA were reported in England from April to June this year, compared to 969 in the previous quarter and 1,306 in the same period of 2007.

The director of the HPA's Centre for Infections, Professor Peter Borriello, said: “The reduction of healthcare associated infections is a big challenge throughout the world and the falls we are seeing in cases of MRSA bloodstream infections demonstrate the huge efforts being made by NHS staff to tackle these infections.

“The next challenge for the NHS will be to ensure that the downward trend continues and that we move to a position of zero tolerance.”

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