Brighton and Hove’s hospital trust has kept MRSA infections down to the lowest level in years but is still struggling to meet its annual target.
The trust which runs the Royal Sussex County Hospital has a target of no more than eight MRSA cases from April this year to March next year.
But after five months Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has already reported six cases of MRSA acquired by patients during a stay in hospital.
In each case the trust has carried out a “root cause analysis” and taken follow-up action.
It also invite the Government’s top adviser on infection prevention and control, Professor Brian Duerden, to review the cases and give his advice.
Duncan Selbie, the trust chief executive, said: “What became apparent is that all six of our cases have only one thing in common – they were all associated with deviation from our protocols.
“We can argue that these patients were highly complex and extremely poorly, and most of them were.
“We can also say that six cases in the first half of the year is by far the best we have ever achieved.
“Neither of these facts though excuses the clear cause and effect which has resulted in these six patients acquiring an avoidable bloodstream infection while in our care.
“Where we go from here is clear.
“We need to do what we are already doing, but better and more consistently.”
Mr Selbie said that, among other things, there had to be an unrelenting insistence on the highest standards of hand hygiene.
The number of cases of MRSA in the trust’s hospitals last year was 24 – a reduction of 33 per cent on the 36 cases the year before.
Of those 24 cases, 14 were acquired by patients 48 hours or more after they arrived in hospital.
The total number of cases over the past five years is as follows
- 2005-06 141
- 2006-07 105
- 2007-08 66
- 2008-09 36
- 2009-10 24
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