Text Only Version Last Update: Press Releases (22 May 2006)
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MPs hold crisis talks over hospital's debts
Bury Free Press, 27 June 2005
MRSA levels in West Suffolk Hospital are on the rise, placing it in 136th place out of 173 health trusts nationally.
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The news comes as MPs and health chiefs hold emergency talks in the face of a financial crisis which could see patient services cut.
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Richard Spring, MP for West Suffolk, met Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority's (SHA) chief executive at the House of Commons on Wednesday.
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He is also due to meet the chief executive and chairman of Bury St Edmunds' acute hospital today to discuss its massive 7.4 million debt.
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Mr Spring said: "I am shocked at just how appalling the situation has become.
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"I really could not be more deeply concerned about this crisis, which is having a serious knock-on effect on my constituents."
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He added: "We have never seen cuts before in provision of service but now it seems inevitable we will.
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"My meeting with the SHA produced a promise from the new chief executive to control the debts and I sincerely hope he does."
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Levels of the drug-resistant superbug MRSA methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus in the West Suffolk Hospital rose by 16.2 per cent in April 2004 to March 2005 compared with the previous year.
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With 43 reported cases of MRSA bactaraemia in the same period, the levels per 1,000 bed days were 0.21, compared with 37 cases at a rate of 0.18 in April 2003 to March 2004.
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The survey for the Department of Health showed that nationally the rates of infection had dropped by 6.1 per cent in 2004/2005.
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MP David Ruffley said both the financial crisis and the MRSA increase could be firmly laid at the door of management.
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"You would not run a whelk stall like this. The Primary Care Trust has been giving Richard Spring and myself fantasy football figures and, as far as the MRSA goes, I would simply say it is not good enough."
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A spokeswoman for the hospital said that a breakdown of quarterly reports on bactaraemia levels showed a downward trend.
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She added the figures did not distinguish between patients who had acquired MRSA at the hospital and those who took it in from other hospitals, nursing homes and the community.
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