Our sick hospitals

PUBLISHED: 12:59 28 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

The Lister Hosiptal in Stevenage

The Lister Hosiptal in Stevenage

* MRSA rate 18th worst in England * 15-fold increase in sterile services incidents * Errors in medication twice national average * High number of patient safety incidents HOSPITALS in Comet country have been plunged into crisis as new figures show they h

* MRSA rate 18th worst in England

* 15-fold increase in sterile services incidents

* Errors in medication twice national average

* High number of patient safety incidents

HOSPITALS in Comet country have been plunged into crisis as new figures show they have an appalling patient safety record.

MRSA appears to be rife in Lister, QEII and Hertford County hospitals and evidence of severe non-compliance with hand hygiene protocol could be the reason.

Hundreds of recorded incidents involving non-sterile instruments may have helped to swell the numbers of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) detected.

Not only are patients' lives at risk but millions are being spent treating patients with MRSA and HCAIs amidst a financial crisis which has caused the Trust to recently announce 500 job cuts.

The number of beds needed to care for these infected patients is also putting an enormous strain on the already crowded hospital wards and could cause waiting lists to increase.

Errors in medication, which are running at more than twice the national average, are compounding the problem with almost 10 per cent of all patients reporting an incident.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has received the damning report from an independent safety agency highlighting more than 1,600 cases in which patients could have suffered harm - with the most serious cases resulting in death or permanent harm.

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