The start of April should see checks to see if MRSA is present in patients’ skin or noses being carried out before they go into hospitals across England.
The government set a target in its NHS Operating Framework for 2008-2009 making it compulsory for all acute NHS trusts in England to screen elective patient admissions for MRSA from the end of March.
Among those that have successfully implemented screening across their trusts in line with the target is NHS Yorkshire and the Humber.
If MRSA is discovered it will be treated using a special body wash and nasal cream before the patient is admitted. The treatment will be used for a five-day period and people can continue as normal while they are receiving treatment.
David Thompson, acting director of patient care and partnerships at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, said: ‘MRSA can live harmlessly on skin without causing an infection. Up to 5% of us will be carrying it on the surface of our skin, or in our nose. It only becomes dangerous when it enters the body through a break in the skin.’
He said if a patient tests positive for MRSA it does not mean they are a danger to other people.
Mr Thompson said: ‘We know that people are extremely concerned about this issue and this new initiative offers us another practical method of infection control that is a welcome addition to all the good work that is already going on across our region.’
MRSA cases have fallen by a third across the region in the last yeWebvision | Edit Storyar, according to the SHA.