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Royal Berkshire Hospital is superbug free

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The Reading hospital has been clear of MRSA for 16-months after zero-tolerance policy

THE Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, is one of only 25 in the country to have been clear of all methicillinresistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for more than a year.

The figures from the Department of Health for last year have only just been released, so the hospital has actually notched up a clean bill of health for the past 16 months.

The chief nurse and director of infection control, Nigel Davies, said: “We are obviously delighted that it is now 16 months since there was a case of MRSA.

“It is really important that our patients know when they come into hospital they will be staying in the safest possible environment.

“Our zero-tolerance policy means that every member of staff, from porters to nurses and doctors, and visitors coming in to see relatives and friends need to play their part in ensuring the safety of patients.

“Simple steps such as hand washing and using hand gel really do help keep infections out of

the hospital.”

In the fight against the superbug, the hospital introduced a ‘bare below the elbow' policy, prominent signs are displayed reminding people to use the hand-sanitising gel and all admissions are tested because a third of all people carry the disease naturally on their skin.

Staff have also been shown how to wash their hands effectively and there are regular tests

using a machine which highlights if they are cleaning their hands correctly.

Matron for infection prevention and control, Jenny Wyeth, said: “We talk a lot about targets and they are important, but at the end of the day we are looking at people – a patient in a bed, with a worried family, not numbers.

“Being MRSA free for a year was only achieved because of the good practice of all staff – now we need to keep up the good work.”

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