A rise in hospital infections may accompany a second wave of swine flu, according to the MRSA Working Group.
Together with National Concern for Healthcare Infection and the Patients Association, it is calling for the early discharge of patients from hospital in a bid to avoid the possibility.
It warns that a swine-flu pandemic would see a rise in hospital admission and bed occupancy rates, thus leading to conditions under which superbug infections would flourish.
The group has written to all NHS hospital staff, reminding them to review their policy for the early discharge of MRSA patients.
It also urges hospitals not to let increasing pressure on staff and rising bed occupancy rates during winter reverse the good work they have done to date to reduce MRSA rates.
Says Dr Matthew Dryden, consultant microbiologist at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital and General Secretary of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy: “A way to get around this is to support patients with infections to get out of hospital earlier, together with outpatient and home care and good antibiotic stewardship.”