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£50m for cleaner hospitals

6th July 2007

Alan Johnson, secretary of state for health, has announced an extra £50 million in funding for tackling infections in hospitals.

The bug-busting teams currently operating in hospitals are to double in size in an effort to meet the 2008 MRSA target, at the same time as tackling other infections such as C difficile.

They have been operating in around 70 NHS Trusts to identify and implement changes that can reduce rates of infection.

Rates were reduced by between 16 and 34 per cent at the various trusts following their input.

Mr Johnson said: "Tackling MRSA and other healthcare associated infections is one of my immediate priorities.

"I am asking each director of nursing in every Strategic Health Authority to make sure that frontline clinicians are supported in the work they do to reduce infection and to provide a clean, safe environment."

Christine Beasley, chief nursing officer, said: "I know from my visits to the NHS that some frontline clinicians have trouble accessing modern equipment. This announcement will help frontline NHS staff make a real difference to infection rates by giving them the power to make the changes they know will help patients."