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Hospitals to trial mandatory MRSA screening

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Ten hospitals in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are to introduce MRSA screening for every patient arriving for a planned operation.

It will be an extension of a programme that already screens certain “high risk” patients, including those pre-booked for orthopaedic and plastic surgery and all intensive-care admissions.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley will be launching the initiative, which is the biggest screening programme of its kind by a UK health board.

It will cover 87,000 admissions a year and include all pre-booked appointments and emergency admissions for operations, as well as specialist surgical procedures, including heart surgery.

Said Dr Brian Cowan, the health board’s medical director: “As part of the routine pre-admission process that patients currently undergo, a simple nasal swab will also be taken to test for MRSA.”

Funding of £1.3m has been made available to process the samples, which takes between 24 and 36 hours, and increase the number of nursing and laboratory staff.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • but surely, if it takes 24/36 hours to process the samples then isnt the damage already done to those who have had pre-booked appointments? this only results in us counting the number of appointment patients that have MRSA,?

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