Increase in hospital infections at King’s Mill

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The trust that runs King’s Mill Hospital has seen a rise in cases of hospital-acquired infections including MRSA and C. difficile.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has had three cases of ‘trust-apportioned’ MRSA bacteraemia in 2013 - its first cases for several years.

It has also had 27 cases of trust-acquired C. difficilebetween April 2013 and 10th December 2013, against a total year trajectory of 25.

The figures came to light during a trust board meeting, where members were told that root cause analysis has indicated that the majority of these cases were sporadic.

There have however been two periods of increased incidence which were upgraded to outbreaks and which are thought to have been caused by cross-infection.

Suzanne Morris, nurse consultant for infection prevention and control, said: “Infection control is one of our top priorities, and our stringent cleaning, hygiene and hand-washing practices, together with our antibiotic prescribing policy, have resulted in our infection rates remaining some of the lowest in the United Kingdom.

“However, we are not complacent. We routinely screen patients for MRSA when they are admitted into one of our hospitals. If the patient is found to have the bacteria living on their skin they are given a course of treatment to reduce the number of bacteria.

“We also continue to raise awareness of the importance of effective hand hygiene to relatives and visitors by encouraging them to wash their hands or use hand gels; especially important at this time of year when diseases such as norovirus are exacerbated by colder weather. “

A retired microbiology inspector for the Department of Health was brought into the trust to review its infection prevention and control practices and made some recommendations to implement.

There was also some signs of the seasonal increase in norovirus cases but no outbreaks within the trust.