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More staff to tackle infections

Managers will have up to £45m to spend on specialist staff to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections, the Government has announced.

The news comes as Health Secretary Alan Johnson set out how trusts across England should invest the £270m to control pathogens, which was previously announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The money is the equivalent of two infection control nurses, two isolation nurses and an antimicrobial pharmacist for every trust.

Mr Johnson said: “We have gone from what has been described by the HPA as ‘a seemingly unstoppable rise in MRSA bloodstream infections throughout the 1990s’, to a 10% fall in cases of MRSA, thanks to the hard work and dedication of NHS staff, but we know that there is still more to be done.

“The investment of an extra £270m and this strategy will help the NHS to continue the good work going forward.

“Patients have my assurance that the Government will not take its foot off the pedal and will continue to do all we can to tackle infection.”

Mr Johnson also defended the “deep cleaning” of hospitals announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and said patients want cleaner wards.

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