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All national health service organisations, including ambulance trusts, should have systems in place to minimise the risk to patients from health care associated infections as required by Standards for Better Health (July 2004). Infection control policies and any particular precautions for reducing the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a matter for individual trusts. Advice on appropriate precautions to reduce the spread of infection has been published by the Department in the Health Service Circular 2000–02 and in Winning Ways—Working together to reduce Hospital Acquired Infection in England" (December 2003).
The Ambulance Service Association published Infection Prevention and Control: Managing Healthcare Associated Infection and Control of Serious Communicable Diseases", in June 2004. The guidance was reviewed recently by the Health Protection Agency, the National Patient Safety Agency and the Department's inspector of microbiology and is deemed to be suitable and sufficient, if used with robust auditing, to control MRSA and other health care associated infections. Additionally, the training and common core syllabus for ambulance personnel covers infection control, including reference to MRSA.