You are viewing the content for Saturday 25 February 2006

Patients must be told they have MRSA, warns Harney

MRSA superbug

By Claire O'Sullivan
HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has warned doctors that they have a legal responsibility to inform patients who have contracted the deadly MRSA bug while in hospital.

In a frank letter to the chief of the Health Service Executive, Professor Brendan Drumm, Ms Harney said the widespread failure of hospital doctors to inform patients and their families of their diagnosis and its implications was "not acceptable".

She states where MRSA is a primary or contributory cause of death, this "should be recorded in the appropriate section on the death certificate."

In the letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, Ms Harney also criticises hospital doctors for failing to inform GPs and nursing homes when their patients have been infected with the bug.

"The procedure ... appears not to be as effective as it should be. Existing good practice guidelines exist in this area and should be implemented as a matter of course," she wrote.

It's believed up to 100 victims and families are preparing to take legal action against the State, blaming lax hospital hygiene for their infection.

Clearly concerned about the results of the national hygiene audit which showed that 91% of the country's acute hospitals fall below an acceptable level of cleanliness, Ms Harney also requests Prof Drumm to examine how tighter visiting hours and a reduction of visitor numbers could help prevention and control of hospital-acquired infection.

She tells him to "take whatever measures you deem appropriate".

The letter, sent in mid-December, follows a meeting with the MRSA advocacy group, MRSA and Families. At the meeting the group highlighted that sufferers and their families weren't being told in a "clear and unambiguous way" they were infected with the bug.

In Britain, MRSA-related deaths are recorded on death certs and this has allowed the British to monitor increases in such deaths.

Since its establishment, MRSA And Families has campaigned to ensure that all MRSA patients are told of their condition at diagnosis and that it be included on death certificates if relevant.

Ireland has the highest rate of MRSA infection among the 25 EU-member states, with 315 reported cases of MRSA in the first six months of 2005.

A HSE spokesman said yesterday that the right of patients to know if they have MRSA or any other condition is expected to be underlined in a reminder to doctors from the HSE shortly.

"The policy of the HSE is extremely clear on the communication of information to patients. The patient has an absolute right to information on their condition and this should be explained to them in a way which ensures they understood.

"Indeed such information should be given both orally and in a written format where possible," he said.

 

Patients must be told they have MRSA, warns Harney

MRSA superbug

By Claire O'Sullivan
HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has warned doctors that they have a legal responsibility to inform patients who have contracted the deadly MRSA bug while in hospital.

In a frank letter to the chief of the Health Service Executive, Professor Brendan Drumm, Ms Harney said the widespread failure of hospital doctors to inform patients and their families of their diagnosis and its implications was "not acceptable".

She states where MRSA is a primary or contributory cause of death, this "should be recorded in the appropriate section on the death certificate."

In the letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, Ms Harney also criticises hospital doctors for failing to inform GPs and nursing homes when their patients have been infected with the bug.

"The procedure ... appears not to be as effective as it should be. Existing good practice guidelines exist in this area and should be implemented as a matter of course," she wrote.

It's believed up to 100 victims and families are preparing to take legal action against the State, blaming lax hospital hygiene for their infection.

Clearly concerned about the results of the national hygiene audit which showed that 91% of the country's acute hospitals fall below an acceptable level of cleanliness, Ms Harney also requests Prof Drumm to examine how tighter visiting hours and a reduction of visitor numbers could help prevention and control of hospital-acquired infection.

She tells him to "take whatever measures you deem appropriate".

The letter, sent in mid-December, follows a meeting with the MRSA advocacy group, MRSA and Families. At the meeting the group highlighted that sufferers and their families weren't being told in a "clear and unambiguous way" they were infected with the bug.

In Britain, MRSA-related deaths are recorded on death certs and this has allowed the British to monitor increases in such deaths.

Since its establishment, MRSA And Families has campaigned to ensure that all MRSA patients are told of their condition at diagnosis and that it be included on death certificates if relevant.

Ireland has the highest rate of MRSA infection among the 25 EU-member states, with 315 reported cases of MRSA in the first six months of 2005.

A HSE spokesman said yesterday that the right of patients to know if they have MRSA or any other condition is expected to be underlined in a reminder to doctors from the HSE shortly.

"The policy of the HSE is extremely clear on the communication of information to patients. The patient has an absolute right to information on their condition and this should be explained to them in a way which ensures they understood.

"Indeed such information should be given both orally and in a written format where possible," he said.

 

Patients must be told they have MRSA, warns Harney

MRSA superbug

By Claire O'Sullivan
HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has warned doctors that they have a legal responsibility to inform patients who have contracted the deadly MRSA bug while in hospital.

In a frank letter to the chief of the Health Service Executive, Professor Brendan Drumm, Ms Harney said the widespread failure of hospital doctors to inform patients and their families of their diagnosis and its implications was "not acceptable".

She states where MRSA is a primary or contributory cause of death, this "should be recorded in the appropriate section on the death certificate."

In the letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, Ms Harney also criticises hospital doctors for failing to inform GPs and nursing homes when their patients have been infected with the bug.

"The procedure ... appears not to be as effective as it should be. Existing good practice guidelines exist in this area and should be implemented as a matter of course," she wrote.

It's believed up to 100 victims and families are preparing to take legal action against the State, blaming lax hospital hygiene for their infection.

Clearly concerned about the results of the national hygiene audit which showed that 91% of the country's acute hospitals fall below an acceptable level of cleanliness, Ms Harney also requests Prof Drumm to examine how tighter visiting hours and a reduction of visitor numbers could help prevention and control of hospital-acquired infection.

She tells him to "take whatever measures you deem appropriate".

The letter, sent in mid-December, follows a meeting with the MRSA advocacy group, MRSA and Families. At the meeting the group highlighted that sufferers and their families weren't being told in a "clear and unambiguous way" they were infected with the bug.

In Britain, MRSA-related deaths are recorded on death certs and this has allowed the British to monitor increases in such deaths.

Since its establishment, MRSA And Families has campaigned to ensure that all MRSA patients are told of their condition at diagnosis and that it be included on death certificates if relevant.

Ireland has the highest rate of MRSA infection among the 25 EU-member states, with 315 reported cases of MRSA in the first six months of 2005.

A HSE spokesman said yesterday that the right of patients to know if they have MRSA or any other condition is expected to be underlined in a reminder to doctors from the HSE shortly.

"The policy of the HSE is extremely clear on the communication of information to patients. The patient has an absolute right to information on their condition and this should be explained to them in a way which ensures they understood.

"Indeed such information should be given both orally and in a written format where possible," he said.

 

Patients must be told they have MRSA, warns Harney

MRSA superbug

By Claire O'Sullivan
HEALTH Minister Mary Harney has warned doctors that they have a legal responsibility to inform patients who have contracted the deadly MRSA bug while in hospital.

In a frank letter to the chief of the Health Service Executive, Professor Brendan Drumm, Ms Harney said the widespread failure of hospital doctors to inform patients and their families of their diagnosis and its implications was "not acceptable".

She states where MRSA is a primary or contributory cause of death, this "should be recorded in the appropriate section on the death certificate."

In the letter, seen by the Irish Examiner, Ms Harney also criticises hospital doctors for failing to inform GPs and nursing homes when their patients have been infected with the bug.

"The procedure ... appears not to be as effective as it should be. Existing good practice guidelines exist in this area and should be implemented as a matter of course," she wrote.

It's believed up to 100 victims and families are preparing to take legal action against the State, blaming lax hospital hygiene for their infection.

Clearly concerned about the results of the national hygiene audit which showed that 91% of the country's acute hospitals fall below an acceptable level of cleanliness, Ms Harney also requests Prof Drumm to examine how tighter visiting hours and a reduction of visitor numbers could help prevention and control of hospital-acquired infection.

She tells him to "take whatever measures you deem appropriate".

The letter, sent in mid-December, follows a meeting with the MRSA advocacy group, MRSA and Families. At the meeting the group highlighted that sufferers and their families weren't being told in a "clear and unambiguous way" they were infected with the bug.

In Britain, MRSA-related deaths are recorded on death certs and this has allowed the British to monitor increases in such deaths.

Since its establishment, MRSA And Families has campaigned to ensure that all MRSA patients are told of their condition at diagnosis and that it be included on death certificates if relevant.

Ireland has the highest rate of MRSA infection among the 25 EU-member states, with 315 reported cases of MRSA in the first six months of 2005.

A HSE spokesman said yesterday that the right of patients to know if they have MRSA or any other condition is expected to be underlined in a reminder to doctors from the HSE shortly.

"The policy of the HSE is extremely clear on the communication of information to patients. The patient has an absolute right to information on their condition and this should be explained to them in a way which ensures they understood.

"Indeed such information should be given both orally and in a written format where possible," he said.