After spending millions and millions of pounds trying to fight a bug which was circulated and strengthened in the hospitals of the UK, surely we should be expecting a continuous reduction in the rate of MRSA cases?
While cases of MRSA had been falling steadily for over a year, or so we are led to believe, the trend was bucked in the last quarter of 2007 when the number of cases rose by 0.6%. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) have been monitoring the instances of MRSA and other related conditions for some time and were happy with the way that it was going. However, why do we still hear news of MRSA outbreaks in the press?
The truth is that when the cases of MRSA were rising we were led to believe that the figures being published by the authorities were not what they should have been. A number of private investigations found that many deaths that had taken place could be linked to MRSA as well as other traditional medical conditions – in these cases it seems that MRSA infections were regularly ignored. So are we safe in hospital?
A quick glimpse around the hospitals of the UK will show you exactly what you do not want to see. The staff are being pushed to the limit, moral has never been lower and while we are spending millions of pounds on containing MRSA, the return on capital is very poor indeed. Successive governments had been warned of the risks of unclean hospitals, over worked staff and poor moral, not to mention the that fact that we still have some hospitals which are over 50 years old.
While we all need to be very wary of transferring infections into or out of hospitals, the real problems are in the hospitals themselves. Costs have been cut to the bone, cleaning staff reduced and there seems to be more concentration of figures and performance than basic hygiene!