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Wednesday, 30 March 2005 17:51
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
MRSA cover-up Mr Blair
Prime Minister Tony Blair was questioned by an audience of patients and medical staff at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, where he was hit with claims that hospitals are covering up the extent of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus the MRSA superbug - after a mother said she only discovered she had been infected during a Caesarean from her midwife's notes.

Patient Rebecca Russell questioned Mr Blair during a Sky News question and answer session on health.

She explained to Mr Blair that she was infected with MRSA when she went into hospital to have a baby and had to have a Caesarean operation. She did not name the hospital.

She said: "They sent me home, and the only way I found out was from my midwife writing into my post-natal case notes. They never told me. They covered it up. And when we asked them, they still denied it. And now I am here with an open wound which could take up to 12 months to heal".

Mr Blair responded: "I'm very sorry about your individual case and I hope the trust is looking into it.

"It is important, though, that we recognise that it is still very rare that people contract this. What has happened is not that the amount of hospital-acquired infection has risen, but the amount that is resistant to antibiotics has risen."

Ms Russell's mother, Sandra McKellar, told Mr Blair: "It has been covered up ... At the end of the day, it has been covered up. And this is where it has got to stop. You are not getting the right total, how many people have contracted MRSA or how many people have died of MRSA?"
Mr Blair said: "Obviously that is not the practice that should have happened at the hospital”.

He went on: "The important thing is to make sure that we are actually taking the measures inside hospitals that are going to reduce the possibility of getting it ... We have got to knock this out of the system”.


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