Controlling antibiotics in farm practice is most important to reduce superbugs …. but doctors and planners can help.

Controlling antibiotics in farm practice, both animals and chicken feeds,  is most important …. and almost certainly more important than restricting their use in humans. Evidence from countries where antibiotics can be bought over the counter suggests that human overuse is relatively less important than agricultural feed use. Mr Hunt rightly wishes to address post-operative infection rates – so why did successive governments ignore the Oxford originating Orthopaedic report in the 1980s. This recommended a countrywide network of cold orthopaedic hospitals, but the opposite has occurred, with orthopaedic patients recovering on general surgical wards. This along with over-occupancy is a recipe for cross infections.

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When Sarah-Kate Templeton in The Sunday Times on 6th November 2016 reports: Prize money raises stakes in hospitals’ war on superbugs

Hospitals in the NHS will be obliged to reveal their rates of E coli on whiteboards in wards as part of a war on superbugs.

The move is one of a number of measures that Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, will announce this week to fight the infection, which killed 5,500 NHS patients last year.

These include publishing E coli rates for each local area so the NHS regulator, the Care Quality Commission, can take action against organisations that fail to reduce infections.

For the first time the NHS will publish information about how often doctors and nurses clean their hands by measuring the amount of alcohol-based hand gel their hospital uses.

The hospitals that make the most progress in reducing infections will be rewarded with a share of a £45m fund. Hunt will say that while the NHS has done well to reduce rates of the other two main superbugs — MRSA and C difficile — E coli has increased by a fifth in the past five years.

E coli can cause respiratory, urinary tract and surgical site infections, all of which can progress to life-threatening sepsis (blood poisoning).

Hunt will tell an infection control summit this week: “Over the past year we have had over 38,000 E coli bloodstream infections. The Sepsis Trust estimates that there are currently 150,000 cases of sepsis every year.

“Even worse, some of these infections are completely unresponsive to modern antibiotics. Post-surgical infections are also too frequent.”

A third of E coli infections are now resistant to antibiotics and people infected with a resistant strain are twice as likely to die as those who pick up a non-resistant strain.

Hunt will also launch a £60m fund to cut post-surgery infection rates, some cases of which cost the NHS £100,000 each to deal with.

Orthopaedic waiting lists: time for more, and equal access to, non-urgent centres

South Wales NHS: Plan to centralise services on five sites

Another disgrace, and a perverse outcome over many years. There has to be a cure for hospital’s chronic ills – No wonder the consultants are disengaged.

Life expectancy by Post-Code: Gloucester shows the future and spending is being cut. What better way to ignore the problem – by not collecting information.

“Appalling care” in Gloucestershire hospitals due to mismanagement, warns whistleblower

Pembrokeshire is downgrading and health declining, along with the doctor workforce……

The damning of NHS hospitals: Devastating report reveals 74% ‘are not doing enough to keep patients safe’

Beach Bums: Surfers wanted for ‘superbug’ study (no result yet?)

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Commissioning, Post Code Lottery, Professionals, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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