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Superbugs in Care Homes Considered Less of a Priority

Superbug infections in care homes


Specialist lawyers show concern as Government targets to reduce superbug infections remain focused on hospitals.

Critics say not enough is being done to stamp out the problem in care homes as Health Secretary Alan Johnson recently promises £50million of extra funds to tackle superbugs in hospitals.

Sarah Rowland, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in cases of elderly neglect said "Elderly people in care homes are often particularly vulnerable to infections such as MRSA and C difficile. It is extremely concerning that the rate of healthcare acquired infection in care homes is still increasing. Urgent action must be taken to get the situation under control."

Related deaths are at an all time high despite evidence that in many cases superbugs are not listed as the cause of death even though it was known to have been a contributory factor.

Care home deaths from MRSA rose from 87 to 146 between 2004 and 2005 despite the Government's claims that it is getting the infection under control and Clostridium difficile was mentioned in over 140 cases in care homes as a cause of death, increasing from just 92 in 2004 and 57 the year before.

In all, 732 care homes in England were rated poor by the Commission for Social Care Inspection and 43 were so bad that they had enforcement measures taken against them despite that all care homes are obliged to follow the infection control guidelines issued by the Department of Health last year.