Isles hospitals clear of MRSA and clostridium difficile

NHS Shetland continues to have one of the lowest incidences of healthcare associated infection in Scotland, with no new cases at all in hospital in the last six months.

In the period from the beginning of July to the end of December, there were no cases of MRSA or the closely-linked MSSA at all and no new cases of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in either the Gilbert Bain or Montfield Hospitals.

Reporting the figures to a meeting of the NHS Shetland board, nurse director Nina Fraser said she was “proud” to make the announcement, but work would continue to maintain the standard.

Mrs Fraser said: “We are by no means complacent. We have recently trained 250 staff.” These staff members have completed their annual hand hygiene training programme, and new staff are trained when they take up their jobs.

Only one new case of MRSA was recorded in Shetland’s two hospitals during last year, and there were eight months of the year with no cases of at all.

The incidence of CDI, which is monitored at both local and national levels, is much lower in Shetland than nationally. Although there were two new cases between January and March and three between April and July, there were no new cases for the rest of last year. Shetland was the only health board in Scotland where there were no new cases in this period.

When there is an infection incident, the case is monitored to identify the cause of infection and areas of practice that could be improved. Screening of hospital patients for the infection MRSA started this month.

The emphasis on hand hygiene for everyone entering clinical areas of hospital continues, and compliance was rated at 96 per cent compliance in the December audit.

Cleaning standards were also good, with 95 per cent compliance with national services specification recorded in November.


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