Infection Control and MRSA

What is MRSA and how the Trust works to prevent infection.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the nostrils of healthy people. If it gets into the body, it can cause an infection.

MRSA Colonisation means that the MRSA is on or in the body without causing illness. MRSA Infection means the MRSA is causing a medical problem.

This infection can be minor causing pimples, boils and other skin conditions. Occasionally it causes more serious infections such as blood infections or pneumonia.

Some strains of Staphylococcus Aureus have become resistant to Methicillin (flucloxacillin) and some other antibiotics used to treat common Staphylococcus Aureus infections.


Who is most at risk from MRSA infection?

People who

  • are elderly
  • are very sick
  • have an open wound (such as a bed-sore)
  • have an ‘invasive device’ going into their body such as a urinary catheter

Healthy people rarely get MRSA infections.

Is MRSA treatable?

Yes. A few antibiotics can still successfully cure MRSA infections. MRSA Colonisation is usually treated with topical antibiotics such as nasal cream and antibacterial soap when in hospital. This is to remove or reduce the number of bacteria on the skin in order to reduce the risk of infection.


How is MRSA spread?

The most common way that MRSA is spread from one person to another is by people who are carrying MRSA on their hands. Good hand hygiene can prevent the spread of MRSA.


What happens if I have MRSA?

You may be moved to a single room. Occasionally this is not necessary or possible, and you will be treated in the ward area. Health care workers will wear gloves and aprons for close contact with you and remove them before leaving the room. They will then wash their hands or clean them with alcohol hand rub.


How long can I expect to stay in a single room?

This can vary from a few days to a few weeks or even longer. The risks to you and others will be continually assessed.


Can I still have visitors?

Yes. Healthy people, including children and pregnant women, are at very little risk from MRSA infection. Physical contact such as touching or hugging is okay.

Visitors who are ill or have weak immune systems should limit their physical contact to no more than casual touching. They should avoid contact with ‘body substances’ of anyone with MRSA.

Visitors should always clean their hands thoroughly before leaving the room.


Will having MRSA affect my discharge from hospital?

No. As soon as you are well enough, you can be discharged without further treatment or delay. If you have started a treatment for MRSA in hospital you may need to complete it at home.


MRSA Screening

The MRSA policy at this Trust is to screen all patients admitted to Weston General Hospital whenever possible.  We are one of the first Trusts to have introduced MRSA screening for all emergency patients as they are admitted, in addition to the screening of all elective or planned admissions, as currently required by the Department of Health.



Do I need to tell anyone if I’ve had MRSA?

Yes. If you need to

  • return to this hospital
  • attend another hospital

please say that you have had MRSA.

The staff may do some tests to check if you still have MRSA on your skin and start treatment if necessary. This will help reduce the risk of getting an MRSA infection in the future.


If you would like more information

  • Please ask your Doctor or Nurse
  • Ask to speak to one of the Infection Control Nurses who have special expertise in this area