Cases of deadly hospital bugs MRSA and MSSA are at their lowest level since records began, though C.difficile has risen this year, a new report says.
Figures published today by Health Protection Scotland show cases of MRSA decreased from 69 to 52 (24.6 per cent) between the first and second quarter of 2011, and compared with the same period last year cases were down from 79 to 52 (34.2 per cent).
It says this is a reduction of over 75.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2007, when 215 cases were reported.
MRSA is now at the lowest level since studies began in 2005.
The figures show the number of MSSA cases decreased from 355 to 345 (2.8 per cent) from the first to second quarter of 2011 – also the lowest level since surveillance began in 2005.
Clostridium difficile infections in patients aged 65 and over increased from 355 cases in the first quarter to 378 cases in the second quarter of 2011 (6.5 per cent).
Health Protection Scotland, a branch of the NHS, say the rise is not statistically significant and represents a decrease from 577 cases (34.5 per cent) from the same period last year.
However lawyers representing families taking part in the Vale of Leven C.Diff outbreak public inquiry said the figures highlighted the need for disease control to remain a top priority.
Health Protection Scotland says this is the second lowest number of cases since surveillance began in 2006.
It says when compared with the same period in 2007 there is a decrease of 76.2 per cent – down from 1,588 cases to 378 cases.
Clostridium difficile infections in patients aged 15 to 64 increased from 127 to 160 between the first and second quarter of 2011 (26 per cent), but decreased from 165 cases in the same period last year (3 per cent).
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “There is absolutely no room for complacency in the battle against healthcare associated infections and we are determined to do all we can to sustain the gains achieved to date, bring the number down and further increase public confidence in the NHS.
“We have invested more than £50 million funding over the past three years to tackle healthcare associated infections. I welcome the fact that cases of MRSA and MSSA are at their lowest levels since surveillance started in 2005.
“There was a small increase in Clostridium difficile cases. However, the number of cases reported was the second lowest level since surveillance began in 2006. Significant reductions have been achieved in the last four years, with a 76.2 per cent decrease in cases compared to the same period in 2007.”
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors and solicitor for the families involved in the Vale of Leven C.difficile Inquiry Patrick McGuire, said: “These figures make it absolutely clear that infection control must remain a top priority for the Scottish Government and the health service.
“Progress to reduce the number of infections has been made over the years, but any increase in C.difficile infection must be treated with concern and focus minds on what more can be done to ensure proper and lasting improvements to infection control.
“With the Public Inquiry into the C.difficile outbreak at the Vale of Leven, Thompsons Solicitors and the families involved in the tragedy, want to get answers and lasting change to how infection is controlled in our hospitals.
“Families saw their loved ones go into hospital and never come out. Everything must be done to ensure such a tragedy never happens again.”