A new report suggests the NHS could save millions of pounds if MRSA patients were treated away from hospitals.
Scientists said those with the superbug were unlikely to spread the bug to healthy people and could take antibiotics at home.
The study, which was produced by seven experts and the campaign group, National Concern for Healthcare Infections (NCHI), said many patients could be treated in their own homes.
The report said that contrary to common fears, treating people in the community is unlikely to spread MRSA infection as it generally only infects through open wounds or IV lines.
“Traditionally, people who have an infection caused by MRSA have been treated in hospital, usually by intravenous antibiotics.
“Intravenous medicines need to be given by a healthcare professional, such as a nurse, and in some cases it is only the need for intravenous antibiotics that keeps a person in hospital when they are otherwise medically fit to go home.
“In many cases, it is thought that if appropriate treatment was available, it would be possible for the MRSA infection to be treated outside hospital.”
The report said studies have suggested that up to a third of those with MRSA could be discharged from hospital with an oral antibiotic.
The report was funded by Pfizer, which produces an antibiotic to treat MRSA, both in IV and tablet form.
Copyright © PA Business 2008