On the Agenda - Regulator slams trusts' cleanliness

In a nutshell

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the newly launched independent regulator for healthcare, has identified 21 NHS trusts that are potentially putting patients at risk because of poor infection control. The trusts were found to be failing to do enough in areas such as cleanliness and decontamination. The regulator said if the 21 trusts did not improve they would face tough measures such as fines and closure of services.

What is the bigger picture?

The Government says overall infection rates are falling. The target to halve MRSA infections was met last year. A Department of Health spokesman told the BBC it was important to note that the NHS' record was improving.

Why is this an important story?

This is the first news from the CQC since its launch last Wednesday. It replaces the Healthcare Commission.

Media coverage

The story was picked up by all of the nationals and the Daily Mail ran with the headline: 'The hospitals failing in war on superbugs.' National broadcast interviews featured on Radio Five Live and the BBC Politics Show. The BBC Health website featured the headline: 'NHS warned over infection control.'

PR support

The CQC issued a press release to all press and broadcast, health and social care trade press. All media activity was carried out by the CQC in-house press office, led by Roger Davidson, head of media and public affairs.

6-7% - patients admitted to hospital with MRSA harmlessly on skin

100 - deaths at St George's Mental Health Trust in 2006-07.

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