Infection closes maternity unit
A MATERNITY unit at East Surrey Hospital was closed for nine days in August after an infection was detected on two babies.
The potentially antibiotic-resistant bug was found during routine checks in the 18-cot neonatal unit.
Two mothers were transferred from the delivery suite to other hospitals.
No mothers or babies became ill from the ESBL (Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases) Klebsiella but two babies had traces of the bacteria on their skin following swabs.
ESBLs are enzymes that can be produced by bacteria that make them resistant to antibiotics and have been fatal.
East Surrey Hospital said the bacteria had responded to antibiotics and that the decision to temporarily close the unit had been a precautionary measure.
A deep clean was carried out and all mums and babies were swabbed for the bacteria before the unit reopened.
Des Holden, medical director, said: “East Surrey Hospital’s Neonatal Unit (NNU) was closed to admissions for a short period during August and consequently we transferred some mums and babies to our NHS partners.
“This move was taken to allow our staff to resolve the potential for infection quickly and effectively, whilst ensuring that our patients continued to receive specialised care. Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is committed to providing safe, high quality healthcare which puts our community first and our response in dealing with the presence of this bacteria in the NNU reflects that.”
There were six outbreaks of hospital bug MRSA at East Surrey Hospital in 2011/12.
There were also 56 cases of C Diff, another bacteria-related infection found in hospitals.
A review by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following the MRSA outbreaks found the hospital maintained an appropriate standards of cleanliness and was taking reasonable steps to protect patients from infection. However it found a lack of consistent diligence in the prevention and monitoring of MRSA infections.
According to the Trust’s most recent NHS Performance Report, its overall quality of services has gone from ‘under performing’ in April 2012 to ‘performance under review’ in June 2012.
Its user experience is rated as ‘under performing’.
The Dr Foster Good Hospital Guide 2011 found the hospital met all its targets and improved in almost all areas.
However, perceptions of the hospital still lag behind with only 50 per cent of patients on NHS Choices saying they would recommend it.
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