MRSA Action UK proposal to the government

Healthcare Infections A Manifesto 2010

Since the publication of our first Manifesto on 16th September 2008 there have been many changes in the NHS and some considerable progress made towards conquering the problem of healthcare associated infections and recognition of the need to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance.

Our Charity is heartened to see that preventing infections is now seen as a top priority in healthcare, and that it is acknowledged that no-one is immune from the global pandemic of hospital and community acquired infections that can cause so much suffering to those who are unfortunate enough to succumb to disease caused by infections, and the heartache of those families that have lost a loved one.

We want to see even more investment put into keeping the bacteria at bay and raising public awareness so that far fewer people will be left with the lifetime legacy caused by preventable and life-threatening infections.

The target to reduce MRSA by half the 2004 level was, we believe, long overdue and at the time thought to be unachievable by many NHS Trusts. MRSA Action UK has always believed it was achievable and that this could be greatly improved upon. Many NHS Trusts have worked hard with strong leadership and support from Strategic Health Authorities they made great strides, and saved lives by preventing avoidable healthcare infections. We wish the Government to invest and to build on the success and great achievements of those NHS Trusts and to continue this focus by pledging to:

-empower all healthcare providers to adopt a zero tolerance approach to avoidable healthcare infections across the healthcare economy through investment in resources and technologies

-publish the mandatory collection of data on surgical site infections in this financial year, and introduce a target to reduce these, with year on year reductions in each clinical setting

-publish MRSA bacteraemias, Clostridium difficile, surgical site, urinary and catheter infections on a hospital basis to inform patient choice

-improve performance reporting, providing clarity on what is being done to address NHS Trusts who are not reducing healthcare associated infections as quickly as they should

-introduce legislation and regulation for recording healthcare associated infections on death certificates in accordance with Office of National Statistics guidelines

-introduce a compensation scheme for patients when things have gone wrong as a consequence of contracting avoidable healthcare infections, giving access to legal aid

-invest in research into the lasting effects of healthcare associated infections on survivors, and provide better access to support services and benefits for sufferers

-work collaboratively with the EU to identify strategies for tackling the problem of antimicrobial resistance across the wider healthcare economy, in care homes and in the community

-introduce education and advertising campaigns on the importance of hand hygiene and the need to be judicious in the use of antibiotics

- fully implement the Search, Isolate and Destroy strategy, now being effectively used in Northern Europe

To download MRSA Action UK's full manifesto for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections here (2.4 MB pdf)


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