Hospital Disease regulator Aimed at the Wrong Target - MP September 25th 2007
Government proposals to create a Hospital "super-regulator" to control infections are aimed at the wrong target, says North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, this (Tuesday) morning.
The Regulator, to be announced at the Labour Party conference by Health Secretary Alan Johnson, is expected to seek to control "hospital acquired" infections and cleanliness and to penalise hospitals that fall below par.
"Of course hospital cleanliness is vital" says Roger Gale "but if we are serious about eliminating infections such as MRSA then we need to look outside the hospitals and at ourselves.
The information that I have been given by health service professionals suggests that while there most certainly was a problem with infections acquired in hospital the real cause of current disease of this kind lies in the community and is more often than not brought into hospital with patients.
How many of us have a clue whether or not we are actually carrying MRSA? It is likely that the infection is carried and dormant in any place - the workplace, daycare centres and residential and nursing homes, for example - where people congregate.
It is not surprising that this administration`s response is to create more bureaucracy but the personnel capable of maintaining hospital cleanliness - old-style matrons rather than "Blair matrons" are already employed and paid for by the NHS. If we are serious about eliminating MRSA and associated infections then we would be better off spending the money not on yet more NHS bureacrats and inspectors but on taking a test for MRSA from every patient visiting hospital. That would be relatively simple and effective and I am led to believe that the results would be startling!"