Despite countless Department of Health "initiatives", the MRSA crisis seems to be getting worse. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the number of death certificates mentioning the antibiotic-resistant "superbug" rose from 487 in 1999 to 955 in 2003. There is disagreement about what has caused this. Some claim it is the privatisation of NHS cleaning services. Others believe we are facing a new, virulent strain of MRSA. But everyone agrees that if hospitals implement adequate standards of hygiene, infections cannot spread. It is as simple as that. There can be no excuses for failing to get this epidemic under control.
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