Hospital patients screened for MRSA before admission

Southampton General Hospital

Almost all adult patients now undergo screening for MRSA before admission to Southampton's teaching hospitals as part of the ongoing drive to reduce infection rates.

 Inpatients are also being armed with a special liquid soap to use for the first five days of their hospital stay.

The skin disinfectant cuts the risk of MRSA infection by reducing the amount of bacteria on a patient's body.

The two measures are part of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust's revised MRSA policy, which was launched at the beginning of this year.

Patients found to be carrying MRSA will have treatment to reduce or remove it and will be carefully managed throughout their stay.

The policy also includes information for staff on patients with skin disorders who are unable to use the liquid soap, offering alternatives and the advice of a clinical pharmacist if necessary.

Tracey Cooper, consultant nurse infection prevention at SUHT, said: "The Trust is committed to doing all we can to reduce the risk of infection and the additional measures we have put into place will help to protect patients from infection with MRSA.

"The revised policy is another development in the ongoing effort to continually cut infection rates within our hospitals."

Latest infection figures show a reduction of 25 per cent in MRSA bacteraemia cases for 2008-09, while clostridium difficile rates have fallen by 48 per cent.

Issued: 2 April 2009


Posted on Thursday 2 April 2009