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More than a dozen MRSA cases at Darent Valley Hospital in past year

PUBLISHED: 16:31 04 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:31 04 April 2016

Darent Valley Hospital

Darent Valley Hospital

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Senior matrons have been brought in to support the hospital

Dartford’s Darent Valley Hospital has been criticised for its levels of hygiene as MRSA was reported in a number of its wards.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, which is responsible for the hospital, reported three MRSA cases in February.

MRSA is a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can cause infections.

This brought the number of cases to 14 in the past year, prompting a visit from the NHS Trust Development Authority.

During the visit, inspectors discovered clean linen on the floor and staff wash basin’s which had clearly not been used.

The hospital staff were criticised over:

Hand hygiene,

Cleaning of devices and its documentation

And use of personal protection.

A report from the meeting of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust stated: “It is not acceptable to see clean linen on the floor or hear that wash bowls are not ‘properly cleaned’ between use for different patients.

“It was also disappointing to hear that one area had completely dry wash basins, indicating that no one had washed their hands for a good while and alcohol gel use seemed erratic.”

Rowan ward, used for general surgery, was identified as one of the MRSA hotspots with more than a third of all cases coming from there.

The same report stated: “Rowan ward has a particularly heavy work load.”

The trust also claimed that MRSA bacteraemia cases increased when the level of occupancy at the hospital was near or over capacity.

In response, the Trust has set up a task force which has already met four times and two senior matrons from the TDA are working with Rowan ward.

A spokesperson from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said: “The increased number of MRSA infections is a great concern and we know we need to improve. We saw an increase in MRSA cases at the end of the year which prompted us to contact the NHS Trust Development Authority (now NHS Improvement) for support and to review our practices and procedures.

“We have already put in place a range of measures to reduce the risk of an MRSA infection such as reintroducing universal screening of all patients and body washes with antimicrobial shower gel for all inpatients as well as an increased emphasis on hand hygiene.”

“We are continuing to closely monitor MRSA and no new cases have been identified during March. We are confident the measures we are implementing to address the increase are working and that the number of MRSA cases will be back down to normal levels this year.”

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