No MRSA but 680 accidents at Western Sussex Hospitals

WESTERN Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust has now been MRSA-free for 15 months.

The trust – which covers Worthing and Southlands Hospitals and St Richard’s in Chichester – reported at a board meeting at Worthing Hospital, on Thursday (April 26), it has had no cases of “hospital-acquired MRSA” during March. This represented no incidents for the financial year of 2011 to 2012. In fact, the last case was reported in December, 2010. Worthing Hospital fared even better with its last case in June, 2010 – 15 months ago.

MRSA is a type of bacterial infection that is resistant to a number of different anti-biotics.

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Cathy Stone, director of nursing and patient safety, said: “The fact there are no instances is down to every member of staff in our organisation.”

The trust was formed in 2009, and when it took over from WASH (Worthing and Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust), it inherited a number of cases.

Mrs Stone said: “We inherited 20 cases of MRSA. Last year, we delivered seven, and this year we delivered none. We are the only trust to do this.”

As well as successful MRSA rates, the trust reported only seven cases of bacterial infection MSSA, five of which were not attributed to the hospital, and the remaining two being deemed as “unavoidable”.

C. difficile – diarrhoea infection – was also reduced by 39 per cent across the trust, but nine “own goals” meant the reduction was not as high as it could have been. Once C. diff is diagnosed, it does not need to be re-diagnosed, and an “own goal” is when a person is diagnosed for a second time, which counts as a new case.

Medical director Phillip Barnes said: “We scored a couple of own goals last year – about nine own goals – but in the last two months of reporting for C. diff, we have had no incidents.”

l NEARLY 700 accidents were reported in West Sussex hospitals between 2011 and 2012.

The figures were released in an annual health and safety report, read at a board meeting of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, on Thursday.

There were 173 cases of people being injured by needles or other sharp objects, 170 slips, trips, falls and collisions, 49 lifting accidents, 54 accidents caused by medical equipment or devices and 114 accidents caused by “some other means”.

Exposure to electricity, hazardous substances and infection caused 27 of the 680 accidents, while environmental matters caused 19.