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MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C.diff) rates fall in Scotland

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The number of cases of MRSA and Clostridium difficile in Scotland has dropped considerably, according to official figures.

According to Health Protection Scotland data, there were 149 cases of MRSA in the the country between 1 July 2008 and 30 September 2008, giving a rate of 0.126 per 1000 acute occupied bed days.

This was the lowest MRSA figure reported since the HPS began its surveillance programme in 2001.

Mandatory surveillance of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) showed a total number of 1,433 cases, corresponding to a 14% decrease in the overall rate compared with the previous quarter.

The agency said the low figures were probably due to seasonal variations and also successful interventions such as improved infection control practices and antimicrobial prescribing.

NHS Scotland has therefore exceeded the 900% target set by the cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing in November 2007.

Dr Jacqui Reilly, head of the HPS healthcare associated infections and infection control group, said: ‘The continued decrease in MRSA bloodstream infections is good progress against the rise that we saw throughout the 1990s. Latest figures show a continuing downward trend, despite a backdrop of increasing workloads and complex patient needs.’

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