MRSA cases plummet at Lister Hospital in Stevenage

SUPERBUG infections such as MRSA are at an all-time low at Lister Hospital in Stevenage. It has been more than six months since a patient under the care of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, has caught MRSA while in hospital. T

SUPERBUG infections such as MRSA are at an all-time low at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

It has been more than six months since a patient under the care of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, has caught MRSA while in hospital.

The last time the Trust recorded a hospital-acquired case of MRSA was on April 1 this year. Since then, three patients have been admitted with an MRSA infection already in their blood. This compares with 12 MRSA blood infections recorded at the Trust's hospitals between April and September last year.

The significant reduction in cases is due to a number of initiatives, including improving cleaning and cleanliness, overhauling hand-washing facilities, and screening most adult patients with planned surgery for the presence of MRSA on their skin.


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Cases of clostridium difficile have also plummeted, with 38 cases recorded in the six months from April to September this year compared with 62 cases recorded over the same period last year.

The Trust's director of infection prevention and control, Sue Greenslade, said: "The training and support that has been provided to all our staff has helped them to achieve best practice when it comes to cleanliness, hand washing, and antibiotic prescribing. This has resulted in the improvements in care our patients have seen over the last year or so."

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But she said too many people are still afraid of acquiring an infection such as MRSA while in hospital, and some have even delayed surgery because of this concern. Ms Greenslade said: "This fear is based on an out-of-date perception, rather than reality. We would always urge people to go ahead with their treatment, which may result in significant improvements in their health and quality of life."

Information about the Trust's infection prevention activities, and what people can do to help themselves while in hospital, is available at www.enherts-tr.nhs.uk

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