Hospital infection rates at record low

Published: Friday 27th May 11

Hospital chiefs at St George’s in Tooting have been commended by the council’s spokesman on the NHS for achieving their lowest ever recorded infection rates for MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C.diff).

In the last financial year, the trust recorded only nine cases of MRSA and 83 cases of C.diff at both its main hospital site and at its satellite Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre in Wimbledon.

This included a period of over 200 days where none of the hospital's patients acquired MRSA blood stream infection.

Cabinet member for health and community safety Cllr James Cousins welcomed the results.

He said: "This is good news for patients. Staff at St George's have introduced robust systems to keep their wards and operating theatres clean and this has led to big reductions in infection rates. Managers and clinical staff at the trust deserve to be congratulated for this success.

He added: "This is a vindication too for the council's tough approach to this problem and our long standing pressure on hospital chiefs to do more to cut infection rates.

"The council's health scrutiny committee has on many occasions summoned hospital bosses to appear before it and explain to the borough's elected representatives precisely what actions and measures they were taking to tackle the problem.

"This constant monitoring has undoubtedly played a role in keeping the pressure on hospital managers to deliver results and patients are now seeing the benefits of this.

"What the trust must do now is keep up this good work and carry on delivering successful outcomes on infection rates. Resident can be sure that councillors will carry on scrutinising the trust's performance to ensure there is no let-up as we strive for a situation where there are zero infections."

The trust's infection control doctor Rick Holliman said: "Through hard work, vigilance and meticulous attention to detail, staff at the trust have successfully driven down infections and recorded the trust's lowest rates for both MRSA and C.diff since records began.

"It's a great achievement which has increased safety for all our patients and will boost confidence in the care we provide.

"Our methods for managing these infections have proved effective but we cannot afford to drop our guard. We will continue to implement strict hand hygiene practices, careful control of antibiotics and around the clock cleaning programmes to further reduce infection rates and keep patients at St George's Healthcare safe."

St George's Healthcare publishes its infection rates quarterly online at


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