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Single rooms to tackle superbugs

Northern Ireland’s health chiefs have unveiled a new single room strategy for hospitals which will be implemented in a bid to tackle superbugs.

A new acute hospital which is currently under construction in Co Fermanagh will be the first to have single rooms for all appropriate patients, while any future hospital refurbishments will also include single rooms wherever practical.

The idea is one of a raft of measures, including restrictions on visitors, a rolling programme of unannounced hygiene inspections to all hospitals and a new dress code for all health care staff, which aim to reduce the spread of infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Stormont health minister Michael McGimpsey said an additional £9m would be invested over the next three years in a bid to tackle superbugs and improve patient safety.

Announcing the new measures, Mr McGimpsey said the new Enniskillen Hospital would be the first of a new generation with single rooms instead of wards to improve hygiene.

The minister said: “Hospital acquired infections, such as MRSA and C difficile, are a major concern for the public. While we can never completely eradicate them, I expect Trusts to take every possible step to minimise the risk of infection to patients.”

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