MRSA rates drop at NNUH

Latest figures from the department of Health today confirmed a fall in the level of MRSA bacterial infection at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust's hospitals

The figures for the first time cover the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The previous set of results (2001/02) applied to the old N&N.

Earlier this year both NNUH and Cromer hospitals were give the highest rating of green for cleanliness by the national watchdog, the Patient Environment Action Team.   The 2002/03 figures show an MRSA rate per 1000 bed days of 0.20 (0.22 in 2001/02).

In September this year the Trust's Infection Control team of nurses won the ICNet prize for the most innovative infection control awareness week programme during a national awareness-raising week.  

The Trust's full-time team of infection control nurses; led by a consultant microbiologist, undertake surveillance and audit programmes, compulsory staff training and general awareness raising, whilst also advising patients and staff about specific infections.

TrustCategoryMRSA Rate per 1000 Bed – days 2001-02  MRSA Rate per 1000 Bed – days 2002/03
Peterborough Hospitals NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.060.05
West Suffolk Hospitals NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.190.12
Kings Lynn & Wisbech Hopsitals NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.160.19

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust

General Acute



Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.100.21
James Paget Healthcare NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.240.22
Ipswich Hospital NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.210.22
Addenbrooke's NHS TrustSpecialist0.270.32
Papworth Hospital NHS TrustSingle Speciality0.230.45

Director of Nursing, Margaret Coomber, the Trust's executive director lead for infection control, said: “Our infection control nurses and matrons work very hard to maintain the highest possible standards and all our staff will continue to strive for further improvements.   “When you consider that over the past year we have treated 11,000 more in-patients than the year before, it is especially pleasing that all our hard work on infection control continues to pay off.”

Notes for Editors
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant form of Staphylococcus Aureus (SA). SA is a widespread bacteria which is known to colonise approximately one third of the general UK population. The vast majority of such hosts will suffer no ill effects and will be unaware that they are carrying SA. They may, however, easily infect others. Problems only arise with the bacteria when it occupies open wounds, particularly in those patients whose immune systems are already under strain either through disease, therapy or general debilitation.  

In 1944, in excess of 95% of SA was susceptible to penicillin. With the use of antibiotics since that time, however, that proportion has now shrunk to just 10%. It is not least for this reason that in the developed world a great deal of work is being done to limit the widespread antibiotic use that has led to this resistance.   MRSA  was first identified in the 1960s and the incidence has been rising since. In the period 1989 to 1991 the proportion of SA in the UK that was resistant was approximately 1.5%, but that steadily rose to 31.7% by 1997.

MRSA is increasingly a community-based problem which becomes apparent in hospital because we screen patients for MRSA and it is therefore detected, whereas at home and in the community it may not be. To put the rate of antibiotic-resistant SA in its international context, the percentage of MRSA as isolates of SA are as follows:

USA                28%

UK                  32%

Belgium           40%

Japan              70%

For further information please contact: Andrew Stronach on 01603 287200

Friday 5th of December 2003 10:00:22 AM