Lawyer Calls For Disclosure On MRSA Infection At Lancashire Neo-Natal Unit

17.10.2007

Leading Manchester Medical Law and Patient Rights lawyer, Lindsay Wise, has today called on The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust to disclose the full facts about the recent MRSA outbreak at its neo-natal unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital after claims that children were infected with MRSA as early as February this year.

Lindsay Wise who is based at the Manchester office of law firm Irwin Mitchell, is currently investigating an allegation against the Trust by a local family who were informed that their premature baby had contracted the infection in the neonatal unit in February of this year, seven months before the hospital claim the infection was first identified.

Commenting the lawyer who is in talks with the family said: We are appealing to the Trust for full disclosure on the timing of the outbreak of MRSA at the unit. The allegation we are investigating would appear to contradict reports in the media this week that the unit was shut immediately when the infection was first identified in mid-September.

She continues: As MRSA appears to have been on the unit in February of this year, we would have to question why steps taken by the Trust in September were not taken earlier and whether such steps would have prevented the subsequent outbreak. The Government has made it clear that tackling infections is one of four top priorities in the healthcare profession and that it is important that upon detection Trusts examine whether the infection is preventable and take appropriate control measures.

Six babies have tested positive for Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) strain of MRSA and are currently being kept in separate areas of the hospital. The Trust this week confirmed that the Mother of one of the babies is also being treated on one of the wards for the super bug.

The hospital is currently screening babies for carrying the organism on their skin and says they plan to re-open the unit once it is sure that all tests are negative.