HOSPITALS bosses in Worcestershire are at risk of missing tough targets on the potentially fatal MRSA superbug.

There have now been 11 cases of MRSA in 2008/09, still within the target of 15 set for this financial year.

There were two further cases of MRSA in December, both at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester.

The issue is set to be discussed at a meeting of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch today.

Helen Blanchard said in her report: “The risk of not achieving the national target of no more than 15 cases has now been increased to high in light of recent performance.”

However, the watchdog – the Health Protection Agency – reported that between April 2006 and October last year, the trust had the least number of MRSA infections of all the large acute trusts in the West Midlands with 79 cases in total.

Meanwhile, there were a total of 19 cases of Clostridium difficile (C.diff) in acute hospitals across Worcestershire in December – 11 at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and eight at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

There were also two deaths of patients where C.diff was recorded on the death certificate.

There were also two C.diff cases within our community hospitals and two in our GP practices.

This puts Worcestershire well within the target of under 26 cases of C.diff per month.

The trust has also stepped up screening for MRSA – in September 903 out of 2,537 elective admissions were screened for the superbug (36 per cent). In December 1,137 out of 2,514 were screened (45 per cent).

NHS trusts must screen all emergency and elective patients for MRSA by March 2011.

Meanwhile, the outbreak of norovirus – causing vomiting and diarrhoea in patients – is improving, according to a spokesman for the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

At Worcestershire Royal Hospital Laurel 2 was the only ward subject to a total visiting ban to contain the norovirus yesterday.

A ban was also in place on wards 4, 5 and 18 of the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.