Concern at the number of MRSA cases

PUBLISHED: 12:32 07 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

THE NHS Trust which runs Lister Hospital has recorded the highest rate of MRSA cases in the East of England and a governing health authority has said it is of particular concern . The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust recorded 11 cases of the superb

THE NHS Trust which runs Lister Hospital has recorded the highest rate of MRSA cases in the East of England and a governing health authority has said it is of "particular concern".

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust recorded 11 cases of the superbug from April to June this year - more than double its target of no more than five for this period.

Most of the 18 Trusts in the East of England recorded no more than three cases for this three-month period, with some recording none.

In its quarterly performance report, the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) said: "All Trusts exceeding the year-to-date ceiling are of concern, however the number of cases in recent months at the East and North Hertfordshire Trust...is of particular concern."

As a result, the SHA has made specific interventions, including the implementation of new leadership arrangements at the Trust.

Chief executive of the Trust, Nick Carver, said: "As a region, hospitals in eastern England overall have the second lowest levels of MRSA in England.

"As one of the largest NHS Trusts in the east of England, which has hospitals on four sites, it is hard to compare our performance with smaller, single site hospital Trusts.

"That said, however, clearly we were not hitting our target.

"The principal cause of the problem was May, when seven MRSA infections occurred. Since then we have redoubled our efforts, with just two infections in June - both of which were patients who transferred in from other hospitals with undiagnosed infections already. Thus far for July it looks like we may have no MRSA blood infections at all.

"If we can keep this improved performance up during August and September, which we are determined to do, then this will put us right back in line to hit our year-end target of just 22 cases.

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