Hospital aims for complete eradication of MRSA cases

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CALDERDALE and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has reached its maximum target for MRSA cases this year.

The trust – which runs Calderdale Royal Infirmary – was set a target by regulator Monitor of five for this year and November saw its fifth case of MRSA bacteraemia, with three months to go before the end of the financial year.

However, hospital bosses at the December board meeting stressed the figure of five is low – and a significant reduction from an average of 38 MRSA cases per year before targets were introduced in 2004.

Medical director David Wise (pictured) ran through a report on the trust’s infection control for MRSA and C.Difficile.

Figures showed the trust has one of the highest estimated cummulative rates per 1,000,000 bed days of MRSA from April 2010 in Yorkshire and the Humber.

But it has one of the lowest for C.Difficle, where the trust has seen 26 cases of its maximum target of 58.

Dr Wise said: “As a trust we have a significant incidence of MRSA bacteraemia but compare that with C. difficle, where the incidence is very low.

“If we had a poor infection control, the organisation would expect both indicators to be a poor performance. So there’s ongoing concern and ongoing focus. Each case of MRSA is fully scrutinised.”

The meeting heard a letter had been sent out to staff reminding of their responsibility for safe care of patients.

He added: “If we do the right things – if everyone does the right things – it does make a difference.”

Chief executive Diane Whittingham said: “These are small numbers. We have a target at the low end because of our history of good performance. But every one of these numbers is a patient who’s quite severely ill. We must not lose sight of zero tolerance around this. It’s not OK to have five cases. That’s got to be our focus as a board.

“We are looking for eradication of this.”