MRSA superbugs, C Diff
MRSA- more news on the rapid spread of superbugs and Clostridium difficile in NHS hospitals:
UK health groups look abroad to fight MRSA superbugs
Fri, 8 Jan 2010- UK companies developing products that fight MRSA hospital superbugs are complaining that there are few opportunities in their domestic markets, and focusing their sales efforts overseas.
Ban on hospital flowers over MRSA fears are wrong
Wed, 23 Dec 2009- Many hospitals have banned fresh flowers on wards amid concern that they could harbour potentially harmful bacteria or pose a health and safety risk like MRSA and superbugs.
MRSA superbugs not the only threat to NHS warns MPs
Mon, 16 Nov 2009- The labour government has taken its “eye off the ball” on hospital infections other than MRSA and Clostridium difficile, a cross-party group of MPs says.
Five die in hospital superbug outbreak
Fri, 13 Nov 2009- An outbreak of the Clostridium difficile (C. diff) superbug has killed two hospital patients and contributed to the deaths of three more.
Swine flu could lead to rise in MRSA
Thu, 22 Oct 2009- A second wave of swine flu hitting Britain could lead to a rise in MRSA infections, medics have warned.
MRSA infections warning for care homes
Tue, 29 Sep 2009- Poor communication between hospitals and care homes in England may be putting people at risk of MRSA and other superbug infections, the regulator says.
Death toll from MRSA hospital bugs hits new high
Wed, 19 Aug 2009- More than 30,000 people have died after contracting the hospital infections MRSA and Clostridium difficile in just five years, official figures show.
Many hospital bugs neglected by MRSA targets
Fri, Jun 12, 2009- The NHS in England is neglecting the threat from many healthcare acquired infections not covered by labour government targets, a watchdog has warned. Efforts to tackle MRSA and Clostridium difficile have been a success, but they account for only about 15% of cases, the National Audit Office said.
Act now to prevent blood clots becoming the next MRSA warns NHS Confederation
Fri, May 15, 2009- NHS trust boards must act to stop deadly blood clots becoming “the next MRSA” in the eyes of patients and the media, the NHS Confederation is warning.
Rose Gibb the MRSA paperpusher judgement ends era of pay-offs
Wed, May 6, 2009- NHS managers could increasingly turn to employment tribunals with the rights and wrongs of their dismissals debated in public after Rose Gibb lost her claim for breach of contract after 90 patients died in her dirty hospital.
Worst NHS trusts for hygiene threatened with fines and closure by super regulator
Mon, 6 Apr, 2009- The worst NHS organisations for hygiene standards have been named and shamed by a new super regulator and threatened with fines and even closures if they do not improve.
Sir Richard Branson accuses labour of failing over hospital superbugs
Mon, Dec 29, 2008– Sir Richard Branson criticised horrific hospital infection rates, accusing labour politicians and health bosses of “tinkering” with the problem.
Hospitals fail to pass latest MRSA superbug hygiene test
Wed, Nov 26, 2008- Only one in 10 NHS hospitals are complying fully with a compulsory hygiene code intended to prevent MRSA hospital acquired infections, the NHS inspectorate has found in a series of spot checks.
Health Direct- 4 years and 1000 posts on NHS news, advice and information
Mon, Nov 3, 2008– Health Direct has now posted over 1,000 news, advice and information stories about the NHS during the past four years.
NHS trusts face fines for poor hygiene
Mon, Sep 01, 2008- A survey published in June showed that one in four NHS trusts in England failed to meet minimum standards on hygiene. Fines of up to £50,000 will be imposed on NHS trusts which breach hygiene regulations in a crackdown on hospital infections.
NHS managers get away with murder as MRSA superbug hospital escapes criminal charges
Fri, Aug 8, 2008- The hospital trust at the centre of Britain’s worst recorded hospital MRSA superbug outbreak which led to the death of 331 patients has escaped prosecution.
Clostridium difficile rates still rising
Fri, Aug 1, 2008- The number of infections caused by Clostridium difficile are continuing to rise.
NHS at 60- MRSA superbug infections are patients biggest fear
Tue, Jul 1, 2008- NHS at 60- MRSA superbugs and fear of picking up a superbug infection is the public’s main concern about NHS hospital care, a UK-wide BBC poll shows.
Superbugs MRSA and Clostridium difficile record numbers of patients deaths
Mon, Jun 16, 2008- Record number of patients are dying in hospitals and nursing homes after contracting superbugs, new figures show. Deaths from C difficile in 2006 were almost double those in 2005
Deaths from superbug Clostridium Difficile quadruple
Tue, June 10, 2008- The number of deaths in Britain linked to the potentially deadly superbug Clostridium difficile has quadrupled in just five years, a report warns.
Superbugs deaths now at 10,000 a year
Mon, May 19, 2008– Superbugs kill at least 10,000 people in Britain each year — 20 times the number who die of Aids. Why isn’t the labour government spending more on finding out why?
Superbugs- children hit by playground superbug PVL-MRSA
Tue, May 13, 2008- A new form of the superbug MRSA attacks its victims, usually children, with frightening speed, doctors are warning. One of those who has seen the effects is Sherean Roberts, whose son Daniel, 10, was infected after a trivial fall from a playground slide in north London.
MRSA superbug rises show that Gordon Brown’s £50m deep clean did not work
Thu, May 8, 2008- MRSA superbug infections caught in hospital are still at unacceptable levels and Labour is failing to tackle the problems of fatal bugs in the correct way, statistics show..
Hospital managers to blame for MRSA, say eight out of 10 Brits
Tue, Apr 1, 2008- Today all NHS hospitals should have completed a “deep clean” in an effort by the Department of Health to tackle superbugs according to Gordon Stalinist Brown.
Superbug related deaths up by 72 per cent to 6,480- nearly twice UK road deaths
Mon, Mar 3 2008- The number of death certificates mentioning clostridium difficle has risen by almost three quarters in one year, official statistics reveal.
MRSA spin row as NHS publishes new superbug figures
Thur, Jan 31, 2008- The labour government is within touching distance of hitting its MRSA target, but opposition parties have accused ministers of manipulating the data.
Sacked NHS chief wins £75000 pay-off after C Diff scandal
Thu Jan 24 2008- The sacked chief executive of an NHS trust criticised for a host of outbreaks of Clostridium difficile is to get a £75,000 pay-off, it emerged today.
Dirty ambulances spread MRSA superbugs infections
Wed 28 Nov 2007- Ambulances may be spreading infections because they are not being cleaned properly, union leaders warn. An investigation by Unison found large variations in cleaning practices at ambulance trusts in the UK.
Hospitals failing superbug targets as 8.2pc of patients acquire bug
Fri 2 Nov 2007- Hospital superbugs are endemic in Britain’s wards and the Government is failing to meet its targets to reduce them, new watchdog figures have disclosed. Cases of Clostridium difficile increased by seven per cent in hospital patients over the age of 65 from 51,829 in 2005 to 55,620 last year – an extra 3,791 cases.
Targeted cleaning is key to defeating MRSA superbugs
Thu 1 Nov 2007- Targeted cleaning to tackle MRSA hotspots is the key to reducing hospital infections, an expert says. Microbiologist Dr Stephanie Dancer said cleaning should focus on objects which people frequently touch rather than on “catch-all blitzes”.
Tories on attack over MRSA, C diff hospital superbugs
Fri 26 Oct 2007- Labour ministers knew about the findings of a report into 90 patient deaths from Clostridium difficile at Kent hospitals months ago, the Conservative party claimed this week.
Quarter of NHS trusts are failing on C Difficile, MRSA superbug infections
Fri 19 Oct 2007- A quarter of hospital trusts in England are failing to meet new standards on infection control, a survey by the Healthcare Commission has found. Forty four trusts were not complying with one or all aspects of the hygiene code, standards seen as key after the recent deaths from hospital infections.
Superbug boss Rose Gibb has record of dirty hospitals
Mon 15 Oct 2007- Asked what she intended to do about the filthy wards at her hospital, Rose Gibb insisted she had introduced an “action plan” that would “address the issues” of inadequate cleaning.
Gordon Stalinist Brown pledge on NHS funding and MRSA superbugs
Wed 26 Sep 2007- Hospitals are to use new “deep-clean” techniques in which wards are stripped and subjected to steam cleaning and high-strength disinfectant in an attempt to reduce outbreaks of MRSA and C difficile superbugs.
MRSA to force ban on doctors’ white coats
Mon 17 Sep 2007- Doctors will be banned from wearing their traditional white coats as part of a drive to protect patients from contracting MRSA and C Difficile superbugs in hospital, Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary announces.
C Difficile and MRSA hospital bugs remain a problem
Wed, 25 Jul 07- The number of cases of the potentially dangerous Clostridium difficile (C Difficile) is thriving, figures show. A review by the Health Protection Agency showed hospital MRSA cases had fallen by 10% in the first three months of 2007 compared with a year ago. But rates for C. difficile, which mainly strikes the elderly, rose by 22% this quarter.
Hospitals losing fight to defeat MRSA, C Difficile superbugs- health watchdog warns
Tue 19 Jun 07- One in four NHS trusts is failing the latest labour government targets on cleanliness and tackling superbug infections. Figures released by the Healthcare Commission show that six out of ten trusts in England have reported failing one or more of the twenty four “core standards” on all aspects of care, on which they are assessed by the NHS watchdog.
Inspection blitz on MRSA and superbug hygiene belatedly launched
Tue 5 Jun 07- The NHS in England is facing a blitz on MRSA and superbug hygiene standards as a watchdog uses new powers to crackdown on infections. The Healthcare Commission is to go into 120 NHS trusts unannounced in the next year to check cleanliness standards and infection control procedures.
NHS critic’s father dies from MRSA after awful care
Mon 14 May 07- A former nurse who tackled Tony Blair over NHS failures in her daughter’s treatment has lost her father to the MRSA superbug. During the 2001 election campaign Carol Maddocks confronted the Prime Minister during an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time programme and told him that the health service was letting down her daughter Alice, who had a rare blood condition.
Deadly NHS superbugs continue rising with C difficile again up
Wed 2 May 07- More hospital patients in England are getting the deadly Clostridium difficile bug, figures show. Health Protection Agency (HPA) data showed 55,681 cases were reported among over 65s in 2006 – up 8% in a year. MRSA cases continued their downward trend, but they are not falling quickly enough to meet Labour’s target next year.
MRSA and Clostridium difficile deaths up by half in year
Fri 23 Feb 07- The Health Direct blog was partly set up in response to the preventable crisis that is killing thousands of patients in the UK. We calculated back in 2004 that fewer people being killed on UK roads than by superbugs. Since then Health Direct calculates that in 2005, there were nearly 70 per cent more deaths linked to MRSA and Clostridium difficile than were people killed in traffic accidents on all of the UK’s roads.
Clash of NHS targets- MRSA and cash underfunding or clean hospitals
Thu 15 Feb 07- The labour government’s NHS waiting targets and wish to tackle the spread of hospital acquired infections like MRSA are in direct conflict, according to a leading expert. Professor Hajo Grundmann, currently based at Groningham University Medical Centre in Holland, maps the incidence of MRSA across the European Union.
MRSA superbug claims may surge against NHS
Fri 12 Jan 07- A flood of MRSA compensation claims could finally be realised as lawyers turn to workplace safety legislation to pursue hospitals. To date it has been hard to pin the blame on the NHS, as it is never known exactly when a person becomes infected. But recent successes have prompted a rethink in how lawyers tackle cases, with many making use of laws governing the control of hazardous substances.
NHS hospitals may never achieve MRSA superbug targets
Thu 11 Jan 07- The NHS is not on track to meet its MRSA target and perhaps never will, a leaked government memo says. In November 2004, then health secretary John Reid pledged MRSA rates would be halved by April 2008. But the memo, sent to ministers by a Department of Health official, said it would only be cut by a third by then. It also reportedly recommended ways to handle the news in the media. Dr Mark Enright, from Imperial College, said the target was “unrealistic”.
PVL- new mothers and babies infected in hospital outbreak of new MRSA superbug
Fri 22 Dec 06- An outbreak of a PVL superbug struck the maternity unit of a hospital in Plymouth leaving 10 mothers and their babies with severe infections. Emma Lynch, one of the mothers, developed an abscess almost eight inches long, which required emergency surgery, and her daughter, Daisy, had a boil on her breast which required lancing when she was two weeks old. Daisy has since had 14 courses of antibiotics in an attempt to clear her of the bug, which is resistant to treatment.
PVL- a new strain of MRSA superbug targets the young, and its latest victim is an NHS nurse
Tue 19 Dec 06- Two people have died after catching an MRSA superbug strain that has never caused deaths in UK hospitals before. A healthcare worker at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire died in September after catching the infection called Panton-Valentine Leukocidin, (PVL) the Health Protection Agency said.
MRSA kills twice as many people as drunk drivers in the UK
Fri 27 Oct 06- Sir John Oldham, a GP and head of the Improvement Foundation, which advises primary care trusts, warned that one in five clinical staff failed to wash their hands, despite evidence that doing so cuts the incidence of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, which costs the NHS £1bn a year. Figures for 2004 show MRSA killed 1,623 patients in England and Wales. Some 580 people were killed in drink-driving incidents in Britain.
Hospital superbug ‘out of control’ as child MRSA cases rise to 150
Mon 11 Sep 06- Nearly 150 babies and children last year suffered potentially fatal blood infections after contracting the MRSA superbug in NHS hospitals, Government research reveals. The figure is double that of previous estimates, raising concerns that MRSA is tightening its grip on the very young and that poor hospital hygiene is allowing the superbug to spread.
More than 51,000 patients aged over 65 catch C difficile in a year
Wed 26 Jul 2006- The number of elderly patients infected with the potentially-fatal Clostridium difficile soared by 17.2% last year in England. A total of 51,690 people aged 65 and over caught the hospital-acquired superbug, according to new figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Across England 60% of the 173 hospital trusts reported a rise in cases of the infection in 2005/6, with 15% seeing a “significant” increase. Cases of the bug, known as C diff, had already doubled in the three years to 2004/5 to 44,107 cases – with 2,247 of these causing deaths.
NHS targets blamed as crowded wards increase risk of superbugs
Mon 24 Jul 2006- Government targets to cut NHS hospital waiting times are putting patients at increased risk of infection with the superbug MRSA, an official report has revealed. An internal policy review conducted by the Department of Health, leaked to The Independent, has for the first time shown that there is a direct link between the number of patients in hospital – measured by bed occupancy – and MRSA rates. Ministers have denied there is a link. The most crowded hospitals, with occupancy rates over 90 per cent, have MRSA rates that are over 42 per cent higher than average, according to the report. Those with occupancy rates above 85 per cent have MRSA rates 16 per cent above average.
NHS hospitals are getting dirtier despite Labour’s promises, claim patients
Fri 26 May- Standards of cleanliness in hospitals are falling despite Labour Government promises to tackle dirty wards, a survey showed yesterday. The annual NHS patients’ survey found high levels of general satisfaction with the health service. However, when more specific questions were asked of the 80,000 people who took part a different picture emerged.
Half of NHS hospitals ‘failing MRSA targets’
Tue 14 Mar– Half of NHS hospital trusts in England are falling behind the target to cut rates of the MRSA superbug by 50% by 2008, the Labour Government said. The Department of Health said the NHS was still not progressing fast enough in cutting rates of the killer infection.
Fri 24 Feb- The number of deaths linked to the hospital superbug MRSA has risen by nearly a quarter, in only 2 years. The Office for National Statistics data revealed that between 2003 and 2004 the mentions of MRSA, on death certificates increased by 22% to 1,168. Since Labour came to power in 1997 the number of deaths has more than doubled.
Tue 7 Feb– Half of all hospitals in England are failing to control the MRSA superbug in line with government targets in spite of a drive to improve awareness and ward hygiene, it has emerged. The latest figures for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) released yesterday, reveal that the NHS is highly unlikely to achieve the goal of cutting rates by 50 per cent within the next two years.
Thu 22 Dec– More than a third of NHS hospitals do not follow Labour Government guidelines on preventing the spread of the virulent stomach bug Clostridium Difficile, health watchdogs said yesterday. The Health Protection Agency and the Healthcare Commission urged the health service to do more to minimise the risk to patients of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). C. difficile is a healthcare- associated infection that can cause diarrhoea, sometimes more serious conditions and occasionally death.
Wed 30 Nov– Health Direct highlights the mission of MRSA Action UK which is to influence the Labour Government and Healthcare providers in the fight to prevent MRSA. They do this by providing an advocacy and counselling service for victims and their dependants; and by giving feedback to Government and Healthcare providers- being guided by the principle that the care and safety of patients is never compromised by poor practise.
Mon 24 Oct– Babies fall sick as doctors ignore superbug hygiene- newborn babies at 90% of hospitals are carrying the superbug MRSA, according to a study which found that doctors and nurses are ignoring basic hygiene measures to combat the spread of infection.
Wed 27 July– An inquiry into an outbreak of a lethal ‘superbug’ that infected 300 patients and caused 12 deaths at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire has been delayed because the infection is still spreading.
Thu 23 June- Mr Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts in the previous Parliament, said today: “More than four years have passed since our predecessor Committee first highlighted the paucity of information on the extent and cost of hospital acquired infection. Today we find that little has been done to dispel this fog of ignorance. There is still no mandatory national surveillance and reporting scheme for all hospital acquired infections, the only mandatory reporting scheme for which data has been published is for MRSA bloodstream infections, which account for less than six per cent of all hospital acquired infections. These data show that our MRSA infection rate ranks among the worst in Europe
Wed 1 June- Two babies in the special care unit at a North Yorkshire hospital have been found to be carrying the MRSA superbug. Routine tests on the babies at Northallerton’s Friarage Hospital picked up the potentially fatal bug.
Tues 10 May- John Reid, the erstwhile health secretary, has disclosed that his mother died in a National Health Service ward as a result of a “hospital acquired” infection.
Tue, April 10- Four children aged three or under have died after suffering MRSA infections at Britain’s most famous children’s hospital, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.
Sat, April 9- MRSA is having a detrimental effect on the UK health economy and our ability to adequately treat hospital-acquired infections. But the desire to combat it with adequately financed and resourced strategies doesn’t exist and the transmissible strains that are driving the epidemic go largely unchecked.
Thur, March 31– An investigation has found alarming evidence that the NHS is failing to win its battle against MRSA. Traces of the superbug were discovered in five out of six samples taken at the hospital where a two-day-old baby was killed by MRSA last month. Swabs taken at Ipswich Hospital revealed high levels of MRSA on a corridor pay phone, a hospital trolley, and in the men’s toilets.
Tue, March 22– A baby of just two days has died after becoming infected with the MRSA superbug. Luke Day, who died in Ipswich Hospital aged 36 hours, is believed to be the youngest ever victim of the virus.
Hundreds of babies, many just a few days old, have been infected with the deadly superbug MRSA in hospitals across Britain. A study by the Patients Association has found that it is now commonplace for babies aged from a few days to four weeks to catch MRSA. Some babies have caught the infection from their mothers but others have picked it up in neonatal units. The trend has surprised health experts because neonatal units are considered to be the cleanest wards in a hospital.
The number of deaths in which the superbug MRSA has been cited as a cause has doubled in four years, official statistics show.”
Hospitals are getting dirtier claims patients– Hospital patients say they are waiting less time for emergency treatment and outpatient appointments, according to two major surveys of patient opinion published today by the independent Healthcare Commission. ” Hospitals getting dirtier
The labour government seems to be surprisingly reticent in publicising the fact that twice as many people die in the UK from picking up lethal “superbugs” in dirty hospitals as die on the country’s roads. Two abridged reports follow to confirm the statistics:
The National Audit Office- parliament’s independent government overseer-
In it’s Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, on 14 July 2004 reports that:
There has been notable progress at trust level in putting systems and processes in place and strengthening infection control teams to improve the prevention and control of hospital acquired infection, but the NHS still does not have enough information on the extent and cost of hospital acquired infection. These are the principal findings of a National Audit Office report, examining progress since the NAO’s last report four years ago and against subsequent recommendations by the Public Accounts Committee.
In its original February 2000 report, the NAO noted that hospital-acquired infections were each year costing the NHS around £1 billion and resulting in at least 5,000 deaths. According to today’s report, these are still the best estimates available, although the Office for National Statistics estimated that MRSA alone was mentioned in 800 death certificates in 2002. Because of the complexities involved in identifying costs, few trusts have attempted to calculate their own costs nor have any attempts been made to refine or validate the cost estimate as stated in the original NAO report. Other countries have also had difficulties in evaluating the economic impact of hospital acquired infection.
Increased demands on infection control teams, with more surveillance and external inspections, has meant that there remains a mismatch between expectations placed on the teams and resources allocated to them. The increased throughput of patients has generally resulted in higher levels of bed occupancy – which complicates good infection control and bed management practices. Some trusts are also concerned about the lack of suitable isolation facilities, the increased frequency with which patients are moved within hospitals and the fact that there are not enough beds to separate elective and trauma patients.
The continuing problem of increasing antibiotic resistance and the emergence of strains of multi-resistant bacteria have increased the complexity of managing and controlling infection. The Department of Health’s mandatory MRSA reporting system has revealed an 8 per cent increase in the number of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections from 17,933 in 2001-02 to 19,311 in 2003-04. Of these, about 40 per cent are MRSA, making the UK’s rate among the worst in Europe.
Even though the profile of hospital acquired infection is increasing and guidelines on the measures required to contain the problem have been published, there continues to be non-compliance with good infection control practices. Hospital-acquired infection is still perceived as a problem for the infection control team alone and not enough staff accept personal responsibility for this issue.
In consequence, many of the barriers to effective infection control practice which the NAO identified in its original report still apply. Considerable improvements could therefore still be made in the following areas: the coverage of education and training in infection control to all groups of staff, particularly doctors; compliance with guidance on issues such as on hand hygiene, catheter care and aseptic technique; antibiotic prescribing in hospitals; hospital cleanliness; and consultation with the infection control team on wider trust activities such as new build projects.
The full report can be found at:
ROAD CASUALTIES GREAT BRITAIN 2003: ANNUAL REPORT
The Department for Transport has published National Statistics on road casualties in Great Britain for 2003:
It contains final figures giving detailed information on the number of people killed and injured on the roads in Great Britain in 2003, based on information about accidents reported to the police.
Key points are:
* 3,508 people were killed on Britain’s roads in 2003, 2 per cent more than in 2002. The number of people seriously injured fell to 33,707, 6 per cent lower than in 2002. Total casualties in 2003 were 290,607, 4 percent fewer than in 2002;
* 8 fewer children were killed on the roads in 2003 than in 2002, a fall of 4 per cent. The total number of children killed or seriously injured fell by 11 per cent;
* Provisional estimates indicate that the number of deaths in accidents involving drink driving was 2 per cent higher than in 2002. Final estimates will be available next year. Total casualties in drink drive accidents fell by an estimated 5 per cent;
* Pedestrian casualties fell by 6 per cent between 2002 and 2003 and the number of killed or seriously injured pedestrians was down 8 per cent. 13 per cent of all road accident casualties and 22 per cent of those who died in road accidents were pedestrians;
* In 2003, the number of casualties among users of two wheeled motor vehicles rose slightly compared with 2002 and the number of deaths rose by 14 per cent to 693. Serious injuries rose by 1 per cent. However, the overall casualty rate per hundred million vehicle kilometres fell by 9 per cent because of increases in traffic;
* Pedal cyclist casualties fell slightly. The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured fell by 2 per cent overall, and the number of fatalities fell by 12 per cent. Pedal cyclist casualty rates per hundred million vehicle kilometres also fell and are now at the lowest for more than 10 years.
The report provides more detailed information about accident circumstances, vehicle involvement and the consequent casualties in 2003, along with some of the key trends in accidents and casualties.
News Release 2004/0125: 30 September 2004
The Department of Transport report can be found at: