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Queen's Hospital, Burton making good progress on superbugs, but NHS needs to learn more from EU neighbours, says MEP

July 21, 2008 2:03 PM
Liz Lynne MEP meeting Queen's Hospital Chairman Jim Morrison

Liz Lynne MEP meeting Queen's Hospital Chairman Jim Morrison

Cases of hospital superbugs registered by Queen's Hospital decreased significantly earlier this year. Queen's registered 4 cases MRSA during January to March, down from 8 in the previous quarter. C-Difficile figures decreased from 42 to 27.

Across England, MRSA cases during January-March 2008 were down 11% on the previous quarter. West Midlands region cases also fell, from 137 to 111 cases, after a rise the previous quarter. C-Difficile however rose across England by 6% and saw a slight increase across the West Midlands region, from 1539 to 1569, but the results at Queen's bucked this trend.

Local Euro-MP Liz Lynne, Vice President of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee has campaigned on public health issues for many years and last week visited Burton's Queen's Hospital, where she met Chairman Jim Morrison. She said:

"It was very useful to meet with Mr Morrison to discuss the situation locally and what lessons can be learned through exchange of best practice with other EU countries. The latest local figures show that individual hospitals can make good long-term progress, but more needs to be done at local and national level.

"I was impressed that many staff and patients are already screened at Queens but this must be rolled out to include those not currently screened as soon as possible."

On the national superbug figures released last week and government strategy, Liz added:

"I welcome the national drop in MRSA cases, but one case is one too many and the overall figures suggest that the deep clean of hospitals has had a limited effect, as many experts had warned.

"Screening is one of the key ways the spreading of these infections can be halted and it is still not routine in many UK hospitals. It is an important area where other EU countries such as the Netherlands have led the way, so we must share best practice with our neighbours to improve our record.

"It is remarkable that the Government's strategy has so far ignored the growing problem of superbugs in care homes and nursing homes as it is older people who are often most at risk from these deadly infections."

ENDS

Photo captions: Liz Lynne MEP meeting Queen's Hospital Chairman Jim Morrison.

In January this year Liz succeeded in pushing through amendments to a European Parliament report on health and safety in the workplace, calling for all healthcare workers to be screened for hospital acquired infections.

Full figures for MRSA infections by hospital trust can be found at: http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebAutoListName/Page/1191942126541