Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Health written question – answered at on 31 January 2008.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what his Department's policy is on the routine screening of NHS staff for (a) MRSA infection and (b) clostridium difficile;

(2) how many cases of (a) MRSA infection and (b) clostridium difficile infection have been detected in staff working in the NHS in each of the last three years.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

Departmental guidance does not recommend routine screening of health care staff for either of these infections. Expert advice is that routine screening of staff is not indicated, and therefore not recommended but may be used to help control or investigate an outbreak.

In terms of the number of cases of infections in staff, I refer the hon. Member for North Norfolk to the reply I gave him on 17 January 2008, Hansard, column 1450W.

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Annotations

Kenneth Armitage
Posted on 4 Feb 2008 6:53 am (Report this annotation)

"Departmental guidance does not recommend routine screening of health care staff for either of these infections." Why on earth not when health staff of all levels can carry such bugs in their system and by working in the health system can in fact help to spread such infections.