A hospital in West Sussex is setting a good example to institutions around the country on how to tackle infections and boost hygiene in order to protect patients.
St Richard's Hospital in Chichester is the subject of new methods that seek to enhance the condition of the wards. The Chichester Observer has told how the latest measures seem to be having a positive effect on hygiene standards.
Bosses recently took action to stamp out issues such as MRSA, with the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust looking to eradicate the bug from its medical facilities. As well as St Richard's, the trust looks after Worthing and Southlands hospitals.
Having released its annual report, figures indicate that improvements have been made in recent months.
"Through the year the trust continued to benefit from a major focus on infection control with a reduction in numbers of cases of C. difficile and of MRSA bacteraemias, meeting the set target for both," explained infection control doctor and consultant microbiologist Marjory Greig.
Across the nation, the average number of cases of hospital-acquired MRSA for the year in question was 1.3 per 100,000 bed days. However, the trust was able to record zero incidents of this type for the period, with no cases of MRSA cropping up at any of the three hospitals.
Indeed, the last time the organisation was forced to deal with an outbreak of MRSA was in December 2010, when the bug was reported at Southlands in Shoreham.
The figures mean the trust is one of only nine in the entire southern part of the country to experience zero cases of MRSA in the year. In further positive news, a reduction in C. difficile cases was recorded, with 76 incidents noted in the 12 months. This was down from 125 in 2010-11.
Its steady progress and high standards may be the result of a more structured hygiene programme, increased education of staff and the use of high-quality cleaning products.