London hospital halves MRSA rate

25 July 2006

The rate of MRSA infections at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been reduced by 50% in just 12 months, according to the latest national statistics published by the Health Protection Agency today.

The rate of MRSA infections at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has been reduced by 50% in just 12 months, according to the latest national statistics published by the Health Protection Agency today.

There were just 11 MRSA bacteraemia at the central London hospital in the six months from the beginning of October 2005 to the end of March 2006 – compared with 21 MRSA bacteraemia for the same period in 2004/05.

The hospital’s overall MRSA rate for 2005/06 showed a 38% cut in MRSA cases year-on-year – 29 MRSA bacteraemia in 2005/06 compared with 47 bacteraemia in 2004/05.

Heather Lawrence, Chief Executive, said: “Our staff are very aware of the importance of reducing the risk of healthcare associated infections and these figures are a tribute to their vigilance.

“We are not complacent and we know we have to maintain our improvement. That will always be a significant challenge in a busy London hospital with an Intensive Care Unit, Burns Unit and other clinical areas where we care for patients who have a higher risk of infection because of their condition.

“We have alcohol hand gel dispensers at the entrance to all our wards to raise awareness of the importance of good infection control among staff, patients and the public.”

Roz Wallis, Senior Infection Control Nurse, said: “We have introduced a network of infection control link professionals who are specially trained to help fight the spread of infection in their area of the hospital.

“They are nurses, therapists, radiographers and other staff who act as role models and carry out monthly audits to ensure that staff clean their hands on the way in and out of clinical areas.

“Our link professionals have made a real difference and I have no doubt that their hard work has contributed to the significant reduction in our MRSA rate.”

Notes to editors

For more information contact Sarah McKellar on 020 7808 9899.

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