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Published on 8 November 2007

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Welsh trusts “must curb infections”

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NHS trusts in Wales must take simple steps to reduce hospital acquired infections, an official report has said.

Pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA cost the NHS in the country a total of £50m a year.

But the Auditor General for Wales, Jeremy Colman, said only two hospital trusts have laundries for staff uniforms, and there is “limited access” to changing rooms.

He said: “If you focus on getting patients through quickly and very high occupancy rates, these are all things that make infection control harder.

“The public find it unacceptable that they come out of hospital with something they didn’t have when they went in.”

He said links between hospital cleanliness and infection rates are “thin”, “but that’s not a reason for being dirty”.

Welsh health minister Edwina Hart said: “Patients must have the confidence that when they go into hospital they will receive safe and effective treatment, and for the vast majority that is the case, but dirty and untidy hospitals can dent that confidence.

“I know that clean and tidy doesn’t necessarily mean a hospital is infection free, but if patients see that the public areas, such as the entrance and toilets, are clean, it will help reassure them of the considerable efforts the NHS is making to reduce infections.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Auditor General for Wales



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