Bioquell urges NHS to take more action over super-bug problem

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The Independent Online

Nick Adams, the chief executive of Bioquell, the producer of a technology that it claims eradicates superbugs such as MRSA, appealed yesterday for the NHS to take a more active approach towards the problem.

Nick Adams, the chief executive of Bioquell, the producer of a technology that it claims eradicates superbugs such as MRSA, appealed yesterday for the NHS to take a more active approach towards the problem.

Bioquell has developed a "room bio-decontamination service" (RBDS), used in Singapore to tackle Sars and undergoing trials in a US hospital. Mr Adams said by comparison, the response from British health authorities has been muted.

"Unlike America, none of the NHS hospitals have good financial data on how much MRSA superbugs are costing, leaving them with no financial imperative to purchase preventative equipment", he said.

Much of Bioquell's recent growth has been generated through selling equipment to combat hospital-acquired infection which, the National Audit Office says, may account for 5,000 deaths a year in the UK. Mr Adams was speaking as Bioquell announced annual results showing pre-tax losses had narrowed from £2.1m to £0.3m, driven by a growth in sales of bio-decontamination systems.

He attributes the apparent lack of UK interest in RBDS to NHS hospitals' lack of accountability for secondary infections acquired by patients. In the US health insurance does not cover these infections, and hospitals are liable for the cost of treatment.

Mr Adams described RBDS as "a droid army of lightweight machines" releasing hydrogen peroxide into the air that settles on surfaces, killing bacteria.

Bioquell shares, which hit a high of 191p last year, closed at 113.5p yesterday.

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