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Cash promised for superbug fight


19 March, 2008  

The Scottish government has promised £1.25m of extra funding to fight hospital infections such as the superbug MRSA.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the move is part of a new action plan to tackle the growing problem after tests revealed bacteria are showing a greater resistance to antibiotics.

The plan outlines measures that health boards will take to reduce this resistance to the drugs.

It also looks into the introduction of a surveillance regime to monitor the situation in Scotland’s hospitals.

Part of the action plan will also be to encourage the cautious prescription of antibiotics through improved diagnosis of illnesses and education of NHS staff.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Resistance to antibiotics is recognised internationally as a major threat to public health and patient safety and this growing problem is something the Scottish government takes very seriously.”

“One of the most important things that can be done in the fight against hospital superbugs is to stamp out unnecessary use of antibiotics.

“If you have a cold or a virus, in the vast majority of cases you don’t need to take antibiotics. In fact, doing so unnecessarily can increase the virulence and spread of infections like MRSA and C.diff, which we all know can have a devastating effect.”

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Scottish government