§ Lord Lester of Herne Hill
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What has been the extent of outbreaks of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in National Health Service hospitals during each of the past five years; and [HL3604]180WA
Whether they will ensure (a) that the Public Health Laboratory Service is provided with reliable data on the extent of outbreaks of methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in National Health Service hospitals; and (b) that such data are published, linking data with each hospital. [HL3605]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)
The number of hospitals recording methicillin resistant staphylococcus (MRSA) outbreaks are not collected centrally. The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) does collect data on incidents* of MRSA from isolates submitted voluntarily by hospitals in England and Wales for specialist microbiological tests, but there are a number of problems in relation to interpretation and analysis of that data. The Department of Health is currently working with the PHLS and the National Health Service to improve existing surveillance and reporting systems so as to ensure that the data requested are collected and made available as soon as possible.
*An incident is defined as three or more patients with the same strain in the same hospital in one calendar month.