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4 records found from year 2006

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Sunday, 21 May 2006 10:06
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
MRSA CASES TREBLE IN A MONTH
Health chiefs in the Western Isles have come under fire after it emerged that cases of the deadly superbug MRSA have trebled at a Stornoway hospital.

A leaked internal report shows the number of patients catching the bug at the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, on the Isle of Lewis, has trebled in just one month.

This latest revelations will put more pressure on the troubled Western Isles NHS board, which has recently received complaints from staff of bullying, intimidation and financial mismanagement. In March, NHS staff passed an unprecedented vote of no confidence in the health board’s senior management.

Alasdair Morrison, Western Isles Labour MSP, said he was alarmed at the “staggering increase” in cases of MRSA.

“In previous years the Western Isles Hospital enjoyed an unrivalled reputation in terms of what was concerning other people in other hospitals across the UK,” he said.

“I’ll be expecting the health board to present this report to the health minister. The health board must explain to the minister but equally they must explain to the community what on Earth has gone wrong, why things have gone wrong and ultimately someone or some people have to accept responsibility".

Angus Graham, a Western Isles councillor, claimed staff had voiced concerns prior to the isolation ward closure of the impact this would have on infection control , but the health board had failed to listen.

“The direct effect of some of the actions they have taken is now beginning to show in the infection rates in the hospital,” he said.

Jane Adams, nursing director at the Western Isles NHS board, admitted that changes at the hospital may have resulted in the increase in MRSA cases. “The board must reduce its overspend and operate within its resources. Changes have been made to enable this to happen. It is reasonable at this point to link these two events,” she said.

But Adams added that despite the fact that the board was “not investigating any serious illnesses or deaths due to MRSA” it was not being complacent. “Although we remain one of the hospitals with one of the lowest rates in Scotland, we are very disappointed in this latest trend and are working hard to contain it".



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Tuesday, 07 March 2006 11:22
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
TESTS ‘COULD KILL OFF SUPERBUG’
The MRSA superbug could be eradicated in Scottish hospitals within five years if all patients were tested for the virus, doctors said yesterday.

MRSA is currently a major or contributory factor to 2,000 deaths in Scotland each year and costs the NHS £186 million. That figure rises to more than £1 billion a year across the UK.

The Scottish Infection Standards and Strategy (SISS) Group admitted to the Executive yesterday that the cost of implementing its policies could run into millions of pounds. However, the group said the policy would pay for itself in the long run.

Dr Ian Gould, a consultant microbiologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, said: "There is a huge waste of resource due to MRSA. Bed wastage from extended stays... costs hundreds of millions of pounds.

"Change will not be an insignificant cost, but it is short-term pain for long-term gain. For every ten pence spent on this, there will be a pound back in one to two years. The problem is that the bankrupt hospitals don't have that ten pence to spend."

Dr Gould blamed "30 to 40 years of under-investment" for the high levels of MRSA infections in Scotland compared with the rest of Europe.

He added that tackling infection transfers in many Scottish hospitals was made more complicated by inadequate isolation wards and under-staffing.

Dr Dugald Baird, who chairs the SISS, said: "It is going to be a case of finding human and physical resources.

"If not treated, MRSA will pose a continuous significant threat in medicine, and there is the worry that more dangerous strains will be out there."

A spokesman from the Executive said: "Scotland already has a rigorous £15 million campaign to tackle infection control." The group’s suggestions are being considered by an NHS taskforce initiated by the Scottish Executive.


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Thursday, 23 February 2006 11:59
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
MRSA DEATHS RISE BY NEARLY QUARTER
The number of deaths linked to the hospital superbug MRSA has increased by nearly a quarter, the Office of National Statistics has revealed.

Latest figures show that mentions of MRSA on death certificates increased by 22 per cent between 2003 and 2004.

It does not mean that MRSA was necessarily the cause of death, just that it contributed to it.

Despite the rise, Chief Nursing Officer Christine Beasley said: "It is important to put this in to context.

"These figures show that out of the 12m people that go in to hospital in a year about 360 of them probably die directly of MRSA, but it is unacceptable for anyone to die unnecessarily from infections.

"Many people who have MRSA are very, very sick people prone to infection and not all infections are avoidable, but we are ensuring that the NHS has good hand hygiene and clinical procedures to prevent the ones that are.

"We are now legislating to put a hygiene code and a tougher inspection regime into law, to drive up standards of hygiene and infection control, with ultimate sanctions for trusts who fail to deliver."

But Patients Association chairman Michael Summers said: "We are disappointed by these new figures.

"It is clear that MRSA and hospital infections are winning the war in many of our wards."

He added simple hygiene measures, such as washing hands, could have a huge impact and should be taken by everyone in hospitals.


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Wednesday, 25 January 2006 09:14
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
HOSPITAL SUPERBUG DEATHS ON INCREASE
Figures have revealed that number of patients dying from a hospital superbug has increased almost tenfold in eight years.

Clostridium difficile was to blame for 98 deaths in Scotland in 2004, compared with only 10 in 1997; the stomach bug is the second-biggest hospital-acquired killer, after MRSA.

Last night, opposition parties called for an urgent probe into the issue.

SNP health spokeswoman Shona Robison said: "I am deeply concerned at these findings. It is unacceptable”.

Health Minister Andy Kerr said the bug was being reported as a cause of death more often because doctors were more aware of it.

He said: "The number of reported cases may appear to rise without there being any real increase in cases”.

Superbug expert Professor Hugh Pennington, based in Aberdeen, has said hospital-acquired infections are "out of control" in Scotland.

He has called for patients and staff to be regularly screened.


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