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MRSA goal may be in jeopardy

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The NHS may have failed to meet its target of halving the MRSA infection rate this year, Marcia Fry, head of operational development at the Healthcare Commission, has cautioned.

The warning contradicts NHS chief executive David Nicholson’s open letter to the NHS last week, which stated that the health service was on track to meet its target.

Ms Fry told delegates at a healthcare-associated infection conference in London last week that it remained unclear what would be in the figures for the quarter up to the end of March – the point when the target was to be met – which are due to be published next month.

‘Given that the latest MRSA figures [to December 2007] show that rates have plateaued, we are not entirely clear whether the target is going to be met overall,’ Ms Fry said. ‘Staff need to take personal responsibility. It is a question of ownership at every level, the board set the tone and that goes down to ward level,’ she added.

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