Labour questions Tory MRSA figures

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Chris McCafferty, the Labour candidate for Calder Valley, has written to the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust urging them to set the record straight on the so-called superbug, MRSA.

Her call came after being contacted by local residents who were concerned about claims that over 300 people contracted MRSA in the local Trust last year. In fact, the correct number was under 40.

Chris McCafferty said: "Many residents have received letters from Michael Howard claiming that there were over 300 cases of MRSA in the local hospital trust last year. In fact, the actual number reported between September 2003 and October 2004 was only 37.

"This misleading information is not only an insult to the hard work of local health staff, but also could put some people's health at risk if it leads to them delaying urgently-needed hospital treatment because of unfounded concerns about the dangers of hospital-acquired infection.

"I know that the NHS Trust will want to be careful about commenting during an election period; but I believe they have a duty to their patients and staff to make sure that the true facts are known.

"I hope that the Trust will therefore be taking steps to make local residents aware of the true facts about the number of cases of MRSA, and about the actions that are being taken to ensure patients are treated safely."

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