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Published on 26 November 2007

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Hospital bug initiative “failing”

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The Government has been accused of failing “time and again” to do what is needed to combat hospital caught infections.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said the recent scandal concerning the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in which it was revealed that 90 patients had died of a hospital bug, was the latest and “possibly the worst” in a long list of similar events.

Opening a Tory-initiated Commons debate on healthcare associated infections, Mr Lansley demanded that the Government put in place plans to deal with hospital bugs, which he said they had been “advised to pursue for years”.

And he accused Health Secretary Alan Johnson of “failure to act in relation to the failings at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells”.

But Mr Johnson rejected the claims and said that the latest data on healthcare associated infections showed Government action is having an effect.

He said that Health Protection Agency (HPA) figures this month showed a drop of 10% in the number of MRSA cases – continuing the downward trend of the
last 24 months.

And he said in the 65 and over group, the figures for Clostridium difficile show there was a fall to 13,660 cases – which is a reduction of 7% compared with the same quarter last year.

Mr Johnson said: “Safety in healthcare must be our priority and an essential element of every medical procedure.

“We have put in place a wide-ranging series of measures to tackle infections and improve cleanliness.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Health Protection Agency



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