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MRSA infection rates down by a third

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Rates of MRSA infection in English hospitals have fallen by more than a third over the past year, according to latest figures from the Health Protection Agency.

The Agency’s mandatory surveillance of MRSA bacteraemia shows there were 836 reported cases in April to June 2008. This is a 14% decrease on the previous quarter when 969 reports were received, and a 36% reduction from the corresponding quarter of 2007 when 1,306 cases of MRSA were reported.

Professor Peter Boriello, director of the HPA centre for infections, said the fall in MRSA rates demonstrates the ‘huge efforts’ being made by NHS staff to tackle hospital-acquired infections.

‘The next challenge for the NHS will be to ensure that the downward trend continues and that we move to a position of zero tolerance,’ he said.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the healthcare commission, said: ‘These figures represent a big success in the war against MRSA.’

But she added: ‘It is important to remember that our work still shows variations in the performance of trusts.’

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