Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Health written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hancock Mike Hancock Liberal Democrat, Portsmouth South

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many NHS in-patients contracted (a) MRSA, (b) clostridium difficile, (c) norovirus and (d) other healthcare-associated infections in each year since 2005;

(2) how many in-patients were treated by NHS hospitals for (a) MRSA, (b) clostridium difficile and (c) norovirus in each year since 2005.

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

The information requested is not collected centrally and the best available data are from the mandatory surveillance system operated for the Department by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). These and additional information on norovirus are given as follows.

All acute national health service trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of bloodstream infections caused by meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

These data comprise all specimens processed by NHS acute trust laboratories, not just those from in-patients and include infections acquired in hospital and elsewhere.

These data are only available by financial year.

April to March each year Number of cases of bloodstream infections caused by MRSA
2004-05 7,233
2005-06 7,096
2006-07 6,383

All acute NHS trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of Clostridium difficile ( C. difficile) infection in people aged 65 years and over.

These data comprise all specimens processed by NHS acute trust laboratories, not just those from in-patients and include infections acquired in hospital and elsewhere.

Number of cases of C. difficile infection in people aged 65 years and over
2005 51,829
2006 55,636

In April 2007, mandatory surveillance was extended to include all patients aged two years and over. Annual data for patients aged less than 65 years are not yet available.

The HPA Centre for Infections (CfI) has a voluntary reporting system, General Surveillance of Outbreaks (GSURV) that collects data on outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness.

The following table gives the number of outbreaks that were reported to be due to norovirus and occurring in hospitals in England and the number of people affected (patients and staff). The reporter has recorded the pathogen as norovirus from positive laboratory specimens.

Number of outbreaks Number of people affected
2005 58 1,377
2006 50 719
2007 36 499
Note:

Many outbreaks that are suspected to be due to viral origin may not have laboratory diagnoses. The number of reported norovirus outbreaks and the number of people affected recorded will, therefore, be considerable underestimates.

Source:

HPA CfI GSURV

All acute NHS trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of blood stream infections caused by glycopeptides-resistant enterococci.

These data comprise all specimens processed by NHS acute trust laboratories, not just those from in-patients and include infections acquired in hospital and elsewhere.

These data are available from October to September; they are not available by calendar year.

October to September each year Number of cases of blood stream infections caused by glycopeptides-resistant enterococci
2004-05 758
2005-06 903

The following data are collected from the mandatory surveillance of surgical site infections (SSIs) in orthopaedic categories in English NHS hospitals. Hospitals carrying out orthopaedic surgery have to participate in the surveillance of at least one category for at least one quarter of the year. All of the SSIs reported are identified during the in-patient period.

2004-05 2005-06 2006-07
Surgical category Number of operations Number of SSIs Number of operations Number of SSIs Number of operations Number of SSIs
Hip prosthesis 16,765 211 21,046 190 25,397 181
Knee prosthesis 15,848 103 22,843 128 25,167 96
Open reduction of long bone fracture 3,277 66 2,774 44 3,678 69
Hip hemiarthroplasty 5,396 219 6,328 230 6,709 211

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