Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Calls for More Cleaners as MRSA Rates Soar

Magazine article Public Finance

Unison Calls for More Cleaners as MRSA Rates Soar

Article excerpt

Unison has called on NHS trusts to employ more cleaners after it was revealed that around half of hospitals are falling behind in efforts to cut infections with the MRSA 'superbug'.

Health minister Jane Kennedy said she was disappointed that the incidence of infection with the drug-resistant bacterium had risen to 3,580 in April-September 2005 compared with 3,525 a year earlier.

The 20 trusts most likely to miss the target of cutting infections by 50% by 2008 will be visited by teams of hygiene experts. Three trusts - Sandwell, Northumbria and Aintree - had volunteered to be the first to receive help, although they did not have the greatest problems.

But Unisons head of health Karen Jennings urged trusts to get 'back to basics', saying: 'Screening, "swat" teams and targets are all well and good, but cleaners are the frontline troops in the fight against MRSA. …

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