'Further to go' to combat hospital bugs

Health Secretary Andy Burnham has admitted today that the Government has "further" to go in terms of its efforts to combat hospital bugs. His comments come in the wake of a report by the Public Accounts Committee, which claims that dangerous infections could be on the rise in hospitals due to a failure to properly monitor the figures.

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The Government has so far ignored the Committee's previous recommendations to make reporting all cases of hospital infections compulsory, which means that the number of people dying from infections other than the now notorious MRSA and C. difficile could be misleading.

Chairman of the Committee, Edward Leigh said: "The Department has achieved significant reductions in MRSA bloodstream and C. diff infections, for which it set national targets. But, in so doing, it has taken its eye off the ball regarding all other health care-associated infections – which actually constitute most by far, four-fifths, of all infections."

Speaking to GMTV, Mr Burnham insisted that he would give "careful consideration" to the report. He said: "There is further we can go, I acknowledge that, but we've got to get it right because I would also be accused if I introduced new, cumbersome systems of measuring data.

"You've got to remember we get accused a lot of measuring too much and having too many targets, too many things for staff to measure, so we always have to be proportionate in the number of things we measure in the NHS."

Let us know if you think the Government could be doing more to monitor potentially dangerous hospital infections.