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UK health minister hails drop in MRSA cases


UK Health Secretary Alan Johnson has hailed a drop in cases of the hospital-acquired infection MRSA as “very encouraging”.

Figures from the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) have revealed a 10% fall in cases between April 2006 and May 2007, as well as a 7% drop in cases of Clostridium difficile.

But although the statistics look positive, the HPA is warning recent changes in the way cases are monitored may have affected the data.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Mr Johnson said the NHS is taking a “co-ordinated approach” towards tackling infections, and that “the focus on making safety the absolute number one consideration of everyone in the NHS is the necessary measure to get where we’ve got to be”.

Mr Johnson added that he is “confident” of hitting former health secretary John Reid’s target of cutting MRSA infections by 50% by April next year.

Georgia Duckworth, from the HPA Centre For Infections, said overall figures for both pathogens appear to be “plateauing.”

“What it now looks like is that we might be going into the plateau,” she said.

“Let’s hope this marks the beginning of a downturn.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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