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HCAI related deaths fall by a third

Healthcare acquired infection (HCAI) related deaths have dropped  by more than a third in a year, according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics.

During 2010 the number of MRSA deaths fell by 40% in England and Wales and there were 31% fewer deaths involving C.difficile.

"It is welcome news that fewer people are dying from MRSA and C.difficile and that there have been major reductions in 2010 compared to the previous year. This reflects the overall progress we have seen over the past year in reducing these infections," said Health Minister Anne Milton.

"However, we have been absolutely clear that the NHS should take a zero tolerance approach to all avoidable healthcare associated infections and there should be further improvements.

"The public expects to be treated in a clean and safe environment and this is what the NHS must provide."

Despite the overall drop in HACI related deaths, a small rise in the rate of C.difficile deaths among women in Wales - up from 57.4 per million population to 59.5 - has sparked a fierce row over how Labour-run health services are operated in the country.

Dr Daniel Poulter, Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and a member of the health select committee, told WalesOnline: "The NHS has gone backwards under Labour compared with clear improvements to NHS care in England under the coalition government."

A source close to Health Minister Lesley Griffiths told the same source: "We know from a recent BMA survey that Welsh doctors are pleased to be practising medicine in Wales in light of the proposed reforms to the NHS in England. 

"What the Tories in London think is quite frankly irrelevant."

Office of National Statistics