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£12bn investment in an IT system or £12bn investment in patient care?

25 Apr 2007 - JG

There is worrying news about the levels of MRSA and other "hospital" superbugs from an independent study done by Dr Foster Research. The study of 167 NHS hospital trusts in England found that infection control was in a state of disarray. Only 10 of the trusts had isolated 90% of individuals with MRSA - a standard that infection control experts regard as fundamental in the battle against hospital-acquired bugs. Trusts are reacting slow and screening patients outside the guideline times in most cases. Even more worryingly, deaths linked to hospital superbugs have increased dramatically.

Michael Summers, of the Patients' Association, accused the Government of not taking seriously the risk of MRSA. "-Cuts in spending in the NHS have had a devastating impact on infection control. People phoning our helpline tell us that bed sheets aren't being washed and that beds are not being cleaned-," he said. He has also come out with the worrying statistic that the number of deaths from MRSA has been rising steadily since 1993 when 51 people died from the bug. Yet in 2005 this had risen to almost 1,700 people. What would the NHS workers and patients rather see over the coming years - £12bn investment in an IT system or £12bn investment in patient care? Get it right Hewitt and the rest of you in Government, our health depends on it.

Topics: Health

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