Healthcare problems in Britain

June 18, 2007

A new report says one in four facilities operated by Britain's government-run National Health Service isn't complying with basic hygiene standards.

The Healthcare Commission reports 99 of 394 facilities have admitted failing in areas such as infection control, decontamination of medical equipment and general cleanliness, The Telegraph reports.

A spokeswoman for the group Patients' Association says more people are dying from infections contracted at healthcare facilities than automobile accidents.

Katherine Murphy of Patients' Association compared the death toll from such infections to the equivalent of two train crashes every week.

Recent statistics identified 55,681 cases of an intestinal bacteria known as C. difficile in patients 65 and older in England in 2006.

Between October and December, there were 1,542 cases of a bloodstream infection resistant to most antibiotics.

Inspectors from the Healthcare Commission are currently carrying out unannounced spot checks of 120 National Health Service facilities

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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