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Poor communication 'spreads hospital infections'

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A lack of communication between hospitals and care homes is aiding the spread of MRSA and other infections, the Care Quality Commission has claimed.

The CQC said information sharing between the two settings was poor, arguing more had to be done to ensure that people with, or recovering from, an infection were properly cared for and the chances of further contamination reduced.

A total of 17 per cent of care homes polled said they received no information on infections when people were discharged from a hospital to their care. Where such advice was given, 28 per cent said it was illegible or incomplete.

Care homes were also criticised by the report, with the CQC complaining that they had failed to fully implement national guidelines published in 2006 designed to prevent and control infection.

The investigation also revealed that ambulance crews were often left out of the loop, even though they could play an important role in passing information between hospitals and residential homes.

CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said: “If we are to tackle infections effectively we need to check that all providers of care, be they care homes, hospitals or ambulances, are talking to each other about infections and following national guidelines to make sure that they are complying with the law.”

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