Hospital Trust sees major drop in cases of superbug infections

Rates of MRSA infection at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have dropped by nearly 90%.

Latest figures show cases of the superbug across Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust are down 87% from April to August 2009 compared to the same period last year, while incidences of Clostridium difficile have been reduced by 39%.

Tracey Cooper, consultant nurse infection prevention, said: “We are extremely pleased with these significant drops in infection rates across the Trust, which are the result of much hard work in all departments.

“Between April and August 2008 we had 15 cases of MRSA, while in the same period this year we have had just two, and Clostridium difficile cases are down from 120 to 73. However, we remain vigilant and are determined to reduce rates even further.”

In January, health minister Ann Keen visited Southampton General Hospital to find out more about the innovative infection prevention initiatives in use, where she said staff had already done a “fantastic job” in cutting infection rates.

SUHT is one of seven ‘showcase hospitals’ across England taking part in a national NHS project to test new products and technologies that are designed to minimise the risk of infections.

Staff have been testing a range of new systems, including a hydrogen peroxide vapour system for decontamination and a monitoring system to detect whether or not surfaces and equipment are sufficiently clean, as part of the showcase project.

In addition, almost all adult patients now undergo screening for MRSA before admission, while inpatients are armed with a special liquid soap to use for the first five days of their hospital stay to reduce bacteria.

Posted on Tuesday 8 September 2009