NHS to track new infection types

The NHS will track a greater number of healthcare-acquired infections to allow patients to make more informed choice of provider, the DoH says.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said hospitals will be required to report two additional infections – Meticillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and E coli – from next year.

MRSA and C difficle infections are currently reported weekly online.

Mr Lansley said informed patients would drive up standards in the NHS by choosing the best providers.

He said: ‘We will extend our system of mandatory reporting in the New Year to include MSSA from January 2011, with others like E coli to follow in line with expert advice.'

Mr Lansley added: ‘We have seen the impact that mandatory surveillance can have, with lower MRSA and C difficile rates. By extending that surveillance and making it available to patients in a timely and transparent manner, we aim to successfully drive down other infections.'

Voluntary reporting by hospitals showed a 37% rise in E coli bacteraemia reports since 2005.

The number of MRSA cases has declined since 2004/05, but MSSA increased between 2000-09.

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