The number of people contracting MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C diff) has fallen, figures showed today.

Data from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) showed a drop in the number of infections from April to June 2009.

There were 509 cases of MRSA in England, a 39 per cent drop on the same quarter last year and a 27 per cent drop on the previous quarter this year.

There were also 6,855 cases of C diff in people aged two and over between April and June 2009.

This is a 37 per cent drop on the same quarter last year and an 18% drop on the previous quarter in 2009.

Dr Christine McCartney, executive director for the HPA's healthcare-associated infection and anti-microbial resistance programme, said: "The continued reductions in healthcare- associated infections over the past year and in recent months show that infection control is still top of the agenda for the NHS and tackling healthcare associated infections remain a priority for the NHS.

"These are impressive results but we cannot afford to become complacent. Health workers must continue to use effective infection control measures in order to drive down infections further."

Health minister Mike O'Brien said NHS staff should be proud.

"Their hard work, together with our strategy for reducing infection is continuing to deliver real improvements in clean, safe care for patients.

"However, we are clear that one avoidable infection is one infection too many and we continue to work tirelessly to reduce infection rates further."