Brits get to grips with superbugs

The British government, as part of it's fight against 'superbugs' such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureu (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile, has promised every hospital the funds to recruit four specialist nurses to help curb the infections.

A pledge of £45m will mean that every hospital trust in England will be able to hire two more infection control nurses, two isolations nurses and an antimicrobial pharmacist.

The money is part of an initiative aimed at reducing healthcare associated infections and comes with additional fines for trusts not improving infection rates over and above those levied by the new hospital and social care watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

In future infection control will be included in hospitals' human resources procedures and training and the role of cleaners will be promoted.

Doctors will also receive updated guidance to remind them that antibiotics are ineffective against many common ailments and that it is the overuse of antibiotics which has contributed to creating conditions in which MRSA and Clostridium difficile can proliferate.

The move is part of other measures including screening all patients entering hospitals, a "deep clean" for all hospitals by March this year, the return of matrons to the NHS and of annual infection inspections.

The government has set a target to halve the number of MRSA bloodstream infections by the end of March this year and authorities are confident the target will be met.

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