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screening in scotland
Started by Bev Hurst
Posted: June 18, 2006 at 12:17
MRSA screening ‘could prevent 1200 cases’

By Judith Duffy, Health Correspondent

SCREENING all patients for MRSA over a five-year period could prevent an average of 1200 cases of the potentially deadly superbug a year in one hospital, a new report has concluded.
However, it could cost the hospital as much as £17.2 million to introduce a screening policy and increase the number of isolation rooms, but this would save more than 42,000 bed days over the five years .

The predictions have been made in first ever assessment on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a screening policy for MRSA, which was carried out for the Scottish Executive by NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS).

The draft recommendations state that screening all patients with a high-sensitivity laboratory test, along with the use of isolation rooms on wards, would be an effective way of reducing the prevalence of the superbug.

Report co-author Dr Karen Ritchie, senior health services researcher at NHS QIS, acknowledged that it would cost hospitals a large amount to introduce screening for all patients.

But she said: “If you save bed days, more patients can go in, so from an individual hospital’s point of view they might not see cash in their pocket because they can accept more patients more quickly. However, it has an effect on the health service, as the health service isn’t wasting resources treating people for infections they have contracted once they are in hospital .”

Ritchie cautioned that the predictions were based on a model and did not take into account factors present in “real” hospitals, such as different mixes of patients. Another problem, she pointed out, was the recommendation of increasing isolation rooms to three per ward for MRSA patients, when there are insufficient numbers in many hospitals.

The number of patients infected with the superbug in Scottish hospitals is unknown because there is no widespread screening process. However, the report predicts that in a hospital with an assumed prevalence rate of 7%, introducing screening and isolation policies could result in that figure dropping to 1.4% in five years.

Ritchie added: “It’s not going to eradicate MRSA completely, because the tests aren’t perfect and you’re not going to pick up everyone, but it would reduce the prevalence considerably.”

The report, which was published last week, is out for consultation for the next six weeks. A new version is scheduled to be published in October, with the final recommendations then submitted to the Executive.

Many experts have already argued that far more needs to be done to tackle the problem of MRSA in hospitals. Earlier this year, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow produced joint guidance which called for a targeted programme of screening for patients considered to be at highest risk of the superbug.

Dr Dugald Baird, a consultant microbiologist and chair of the Scottish Infection and Standards Strategy group which developed the guidance, said the research was helpful but warned that it had limitations.

“The main thing I would take away from these models is that you can demonstrate that it is theoretically possible to get control of MRSA, but you have to temper that with realities,” he said. “They are coming up with a figure of three isolation rooms per 25 beds. Although some hospitals have now managed that, others certainly haven’t .”

“The models are helpful in pointing you in a direction and making you optimistic that the whole situation is not hopeless, but how to translate that into reality is another matter.”

Campaigners who have repeatedly called for screening to be implemented in hospitals welcomed the findings.

Bev Hurst, of patient support group MRSA Action UK, said: “ What you spend in the short term, you’re going to recoup in the long term, because you’re not going to have to spend the money on treating those particular infections.”

Re: screening in scotland
Reply #1 by linda mccafferty
Posted: June 18, 2006 at 19:11
scottish hospitals are kidding themselves on ,infection control is laughable ,three isolation rooms per 25 beds.although some hospitals have now managed that , others certainly haven't. YES........but is the isolation rooms got a toilet or shower for the patients, or do they have to walk through a main ward to use these, like my sister at stobhill hospital.
Re: screening in scotland
Reply #2 by sharron
Posted: June 19, 2006 at 18:24
hi there linda
yes it is a joke as i said in my last reply a few months ago i was in hospital in jan and feb this year and yes i was screened for mrsa again but i was only in a single room with no toilet or shower i had to use the main toilet and shower and take my own cleaning stuff with me to i am due to go back in again tomorrow morning and i have to do the same thing all over again but i am only in for the day for my band fill so it is a joke when they start to have those things in rooms for people with mrsa then and only then i will start to beleave in the nhs and by the way how are yous all hope you are keeping well linda and bev and philp and mavis talk to yous very soon
best wishes
sharron glasgow
Re: screening in scotland
Reply #3 by Bev Hurst
Posted: June 20, 2006 at 09:18
hi sharron
good luck for today like you and linda have said if its supposed to be isolation then isolation should mean isolation not traipsing thru to the main bathroom
best wishes
Re: screening in scotland
Reply #4 by linda mccafferty
Posted: June 20, 2006 at 21:28
Dear sharron ,how are you ? my sister got took back in today to stobhill ward 7A, she is very poorly, wound leaking she has a infection, BUT WHAT INFECTION ................
we have not been told yet ,im really getting sick of this ITS JUST AN INFECTION THEY TELL YOU , but wont answer directly when you ask .....what kind, it is terrible sharron, that stobhill isolate you but you have to walk through the main ward to use the toilet,shower ,ect ect. i just dont bloody well get it "WHAT'S THE POINT jesus christ i am going to burst with anger, sorry folk for taking the lord's name in vain, but i am livid about this.
Re: screening in scotland
Reply #5 by sharron
Posted: June 24, 2006 at 15:44
hi there linda
yes i no what you are talking about last year when i was took back into hospital for the second time i was in ward 7a to thats were thry told me i had mrsa after 4 days of walking around the ward useing toilets and showers to when they did isolate me i had to use a small sink to wash and a trolly chair for the toilet and they keep me in the room for nearly two weeks and i am a smoker so they let me in and out the back door to have a smoke they shouls have a room with the shower and toilet for people with mrsa i really hope everything is ok with your sister and when i was in on tuesday the 20th of this month i was took to a ward with four other people and i said to them about the mrsa and they told me i was fine thats when they done the screening but i didnt feel right going into a ward with other people thats a first for me ant other time i have had a room to myself so thats me for another four months thank god but linda keep your chin up girl and let us no how she gets on
best wishes
sharron glasgow
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