Extra cash for hospitals to fight superbugs
Extra funds are to be pumped into the NHS to help hospitals tackle the superbug crisis.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a ˆ45m cash injection that will be shared by hospitals to reduce infection rates.
More than 5,500 people died from E.coli infections in UK hospitals last year - many of them were from antibiotic-resistant strains.
Hospitals will be asked to reduce E.coli infections by 10% and use antibiotics appropriately.
Antibiotic misuse can cause resistant strains of bacteria to develop.
Staff are also being told to prevent urinary tract infections which are commonly caused by poorly fitted catheters.
The Government plans to improve transparency by forcing hospitals to publish staff hand hygiene figures based on the amount of hand gel they use.
Wards will also display E.coli rates and data is to be published so patients can see where antibiotics are being prescribed incorrectly.
Mr Hunt said: "The best way to make sure antibiotics continue to work is by minimising their use, which means we need to start a new war on avoidable hospital infections."
Rates of MRSA and C.difficile have been reduced with infections dropping by 57% and 45% respectively.
A third of E.coli infections are now antibiotic-resistant and are twice as deadly as those that can be treated with drugs, the Department of Health said.
Government figures show cases of E.coli exceeded 38,000 last year - a 6,000 increase since 2013.
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