Questions about infection control

  • What is MRSA? icon plus

    Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to some antibiotics, including penicillin. It can still be treated with other groups of antibiotics. Commonly found on the skin or in the nose, MRSA is present in about one third of the population.

    People may be either 'colonised' or 'infected' with MRSA. The bacteria will have no affect on colonised people, and they often don't know that they have it. Infected people will have symptoms that may include a raised temperature, pain, swelling or pus coming from an infected wound. MRSA is spread via direct contact or from contact with a contaminated piece of equipment.

  • Why do patients need to be screened for MRSA? icon plus

    We ask every patient who is going to be admitted to one of our hospitals to be screened for MRSA. This excludes patients who are having an endoscopy or a dental procedure as a day case. We screen so we can eradicate or suppress the bacteria before you're admitted for your procedure. This is to reduce the risk of you developing an MRSA infection or passing MRSA on to others.

    MRSA screening should take place between 21 and 5 days before you are due to be admitted to ensure we have the results before the date of your procedure. The process takes less than five minutes to complete, can be carried out by a nurse, or a healthcare assistant and is pain free.

  • What happens if my results are positive? icon plus

    If you are found to be a carrier, you will need to follow a process to eradicate or suppress MRSA. This involves daily washing. You'll need to wash your hair twice a day with an antimicrobial solution. You'll also need to use a nasal ointment or gel. We'll give you instructions on how to do this. You may also be prescribed oral antibiotics.

    While carrying out this treatment, you'll need to change your clothes daily and your bed linen at least weekly. All laundry must be washed at 60 degrees or above. You'll need to have follow-up screenings to make sure the MRSA has cleared.

    It is important to remember that just because you are found to have MRSA, it does not mean that you will become ill or that you are a health risk to those around you.

  • What happens next? icon plus

    Once you have been cleared of MRSA by our screening process, you can have your treatment as arranged with your consultant. If your stay with us is for over one week, we will routinely screen you each week.

    Most of our patients will be nursed in single rooms with en-suite facilities. This significantly reduces the risk of you coming into contact with other patients and therefore reduces the risk of you coming into contact with other patients and therefore reduces the risk of cross infection.

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Care Quality Commission

We're dedicated to effective infection prevention and control practices and ensuring we're fully Care Quality Commission (CQC) compliant

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