The number of death certificates mentioning MRSA or Clostridium difficile as a contributory factor has fallen, figures show.
Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of death certificates mentioning C. diff fell by 29 per cent between 2007 and 2008 to 5,931. The number mentioning MRSA fell by 23 per cent over the same period to 1,230.
It is the first year that such mentions on a death certificate have fallen since records began in 1999. Deaths involving C. diff also fell by 27 per cent for men and 30 per cent for women between 2007 and 2008. For MRSA, there was a 31 per cent drop among men and a 13 per cent drop among women. Older people are more likely to die with the infections than younger age groups.
The shadow Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: "Despite the welcome decrease in the last year, there are still an appalling number of people dying from hospital infections."