§ Mr. Corbett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on revising guidance on the control of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus in hospitals. 
§ Ms Jowell
Clinical guidelines on the management of patients affected by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, published in 1990 and commended by the Department to the National Health Service in 1994, have recently been revised by the professional working group that originally produced them. It is expected that the final version of the revised guidelines will be published in the Journal of Hospital Infection in the next few months. The Department will then consider whether they should subsequently be issued to the NHS as Department of Health guidance.
§ Mr. Corbett
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the first results from the pilot system of national surveillance from the 40 hospitals taking part on the control of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus; 
(2) when the reporting of (a) bloodstream infections and (b) wound infections of patients suffering from methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus was introduced; and whether he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Jowell
The Nosocomial Infection National Surveillance Scheme (NINSS) is a new national surveillance system for hospital acquired infection. It is based at the Public Health Laboratory Service. NINSS will consist of a number of modules, each relating to a particular type of infection and/or group of patients. 707W Data from the hospitals are collected using a standard methodology and are collated and analysed by the Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Unit. Each hospital is given information about its own results together with anonymised aggregate data from the other participating hospitals. Individual results remain confidential to the particular hospital but once sufficient data have been accumulated to permit meaningful interpretation, the aggregated data will be published.
Two modules—blood stream infection and wound infections following certain surgical procedures—have so far been developed. These were successfully piloted in 1996–97 by 16 hospitals for bloodstream infections and by 34 hospitals for surgical site infection. Initial data have been fed back to these hospitals. Over 100 hospitals have now taken part in these surveillance schemes.
Data collected by NINSS include information about the causative organism of infection (where this has been isolated by the hospital's own laboratory) and its sensitivity or resistance to different types of antibiotics, including, in the case of staphylococcus aureus, sensitivity to methicillin.