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Cambridge Liberal Democrats

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Julian Huppert MP

Ward closures may increase superbug risk

October 23, 2007 6:00 PM

Cambridge MP, David Howarth, has warned that closing wards at Brookfields Hospital may increase the risk of superbugs.

Mr Howarth's warning follows news today that one quarter of hospital trusts have filled wards to unsafe levels and so increased the risk of MRSA and Clostridium difficile. He commented:

"High bed occupancy rates increase the risk of superbugs like MRSA or C. Diff. Closing wards at Brookfields Hospital will put more pressure on the beds at Addenbrooke's Hospital, which are already 87% full.

"There is already a waiting list for Brookfields and other community hospitals. Losing these wards will mean delayed discharge and possibly overcrowding at Addenbrooke's Hospital."

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson for Cambridgeshire, County Councillor Geoff Heathcock, added:

"With wards closing and more and more Government targets, hospitals are under increasing pressure to have a greater throughput of patients. Many hospitals are regularly on 'red alert'.

"This means more carriers of these dangerous bugs and means that there isn't the space in between patients to carry out the thorough cleaning which all wards need.

"The possible closure of Brookfields Hospital can only make this situation worse."

David Howarth MP with Cllr Geoff Heathcock outside Addenbrooke's Hospital

Cllr Geoff Heathcock and David Howarth MP outside Addenbrooke's Hospital

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Addenbrooke's Hospital) had an occupancy rate of 87% when the survey took place.