NHS trusts failing to maintain hygiene standards

One in four NHS trusts have stated that they are failing to comply with hygiene standards which protect patients and staff from MRSA and other superbugs, according to the Healthcare Commission.

The Commission undertook an annual check of the 394 NHS trusts in England assessing their performance in line with the Government's 'Standards for Better Health' published in July 2004. The standards outlined in this document include three directly related to the maintenance of effective hygiene levels.

The report published by the Commission shows that in all three hygiene standards more trusts declared non-compliance when compared with last year. A total of 99 of the 394 trusts (25 per cent) admitting failing at least one of the hygiene standards.

The Commission insists that the decline in hygiene standards does not mean that the NHS is becoming less safe for patients. However, it will follow up any non-compliance with the appropriate strategic health authority.

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