Trust's MRSA Rates

Latest figures from the Health Protection Agency today showed a slight rise in the level of MRSA bacterial infection at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust's hospitals.

The 2003/04 figures show an MRSA rate per 1000 bed days of 0.21 (0.20 in 2002/2003 and 0.22 in 2001/02) that represents a normal range of variation expected in hospitals dealing with highly complex cases and large numbers of patients, such as NNUH.

Director of Infection Control, Dr Judith Richards, said: “We are not complacent, and our infection control nurses and matrons continue to work very hard to maintain the highest possible standards and all our staff will continue to strive for further improvements.

In September last 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 hospital is also introducing alcohol gel hand washes at the entrances of all wards and is asking visitors, staff and patients to ensure they wash their hands when arriving and leaving wards.

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.

Trust CategoryMRSA Rate per 1000 Bed – days
MRSA Rate per 1000 Bed – days
Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust General Acute0.050.05
West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust General Acute0.12 0.17
King’s Lynn & Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust General Acute0.190.18
James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust General Acute 0.22 0.18

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust 

General Acute 



Ipswich Hospital NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.220.21
Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS TrustGeneral Acute0.210.23
Papworth Hospital NHS TrustSingle Speciality0.45 0.23
Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust Specialist0.32 0.38

Note to 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:

Belgium 40%



Media contact: Andrew Stronach on 01603 287200.

Wednesday 14th of July 2004 08:00:12 AM