Hospitals in England have seen 36% fall in cases of the superbug MRSA in the past year, official figures show.
In a letter to all NHS staff, Prime Minister Gordon Brown hailed the reduction as “dramatic” and congratulated the workers on exceeding their target of halving the cases of the potentially fatal hospital-acquired infection since 2004.
There was a 14% decrease in hospital-acquired MRSA infections from April to June in England compared to the previous quarter, and a 36% reduction on the corresponding quarter of 2007, figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed.
The fall in MRSA infections follows a drive to “deep clean” all NHS hospitals.
The HPA’s quarterly report found that 836 cases of MRSA were reported in England from April to June this year, compared to 969 in the previous quarter and 1,306 in the same period of 2007.
The total fall since 2004 is 57%, said Mr Brown, adding that the latest figures show a 32% decline in another hospital-acquired infection, C difficile, over the past year.
The director of the HPA’s Centre for Infections, Professor Peter Borriello, said: “The reduction of healthcare associated infections is a big challenge throughout the world and the falls we are seeing in cases of MRSA bloodstream infections demonstrate the huge efforts being made by NHS staff to tackle these infections.”
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