Care Homes: MRSA

Health written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

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 proportion of (a) MRSA and (b) clostridium difficile cases there were in care homes in each of the last five years;

(2) how many (a) recorded incidents of and (b) deaths attributed to (i) MRSA and (ii) clostridium difficile in (A) care homes and (B) other community settings there were in each of the last five years.

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

The information requested is not available however the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) mandatory surveillance scheme provides some limited information for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections.

Information on the patient location for Clostridium difficile surveillance has been collected since April 2007 and we aim to publish this later this year.

Death certificates record the place where a person dies, but not where any infections may have been acquired. It is not possible from the information on a death certificate to know whether an infection was acquired in the care home or other place where a patient died. Patients are often transferred between hospitals, nursing/care homes and other establishments and may acquire infections in a different place from where they died.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.


Grace Filby
Posted on 2 Apr 2008 12:18 pm (Report this annotation)

Does it really matter now exactly where people have acquired these infections - and exactly how many? There is plenty of evidence to show that MRSA is all over the place in hospitals and care homes in the UK, and also that Clostridium difficile disease - a.k.a. diarrhoea is brought on when patients are given strong antibiotics as their treatment but not given the probiotics necessary to replace the healthy gut flora that are otherwise completely destroyed.

When will a politician or better still, a health or environment parliamentary spokesperson be asking a new parliamentary question about practical ways of putting things right? Phage therapy is just one example. Is the Secretary of State aware that in Poland, latest data show that phage therapy is "about half the cost of 10-day therapy with vancomycin and several times less compared with the other drugs..."?

And what action (if any) is the Secretary of State for Health taking as a result of the phase 2 clinical trials results in the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London showing scientifically to rigorous Western standards that phage therapy does actually work?

But then again, perhaps we can hazard a guess at what the Parliamentary answers would be. And after all, it was April Fools Day yesterday.