Friday, 12 June 2009

Hospital bugs 'are being neglected'

The Government was accused of "neglecting" deadly hospital bugs as figures showed some infections may be rising.

Cases of MRSA have increased in more than one in 10 NHS trusts while Clostridium difficile has gone up in almost one in five - despite an overall reduction in the two illnesses since a £120 million crackdown was launched. Other bloodstream infections - such as MSSA, which left actress Leslie Ash fighting for her life - may also be going up, the National Audit Office (NAO) said.

Edward Leigh, Conservative MP and chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said the increases were "threatening all those who use our healthcare system." He said: "There has been a lamentable lack of progress in measuring these other infections and therefore they have been neglected."

While the Department of Health met its overall target to reduce MRSA bloodstream infections by 57% and C diff was reduced by 41%, Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said "compliance with good practice is still not universal". It emerged there was no national data on some of the most common infections, such as urinary tract infections and pneumonia.

Mr Morse said there was a "lack of robust comparable data" on infection risks. He added: "The Department of Health's hands-on approach to what seemed, in 2004, to be an intractable problem, has been successful in reducing MRSA bloodstream and C diff infections. This is a significant achievement and a good example of what concerted effort can achieve. Inevitably, with a focused and centrally-driven initiative of this kind, the improvements are not uniform across the NHS and we still don't know in any meaningful way what impact there has been on other healthcare-associated infections."
Source: The Metro

1 comment:

Macheath said...

A news report I saw some months ago alleged that it cost £10,000 to 'deep-clean' a ward.

Given that it took two workers ten days to do it, either they were being paid a hundred grand each a year or the admin costs are completely out of control, which is, I suppose, what is meant by a 'focused and centrally-driven initiative'.