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Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Sir Richard Branson criticised "horrific" hospital infection rates, accusing politicians and health bosses of "tinkering" with the problem.

Sir Richard Branson accuses politicians of failing over hospital superbugs
article in the Telegraph


"The Virgin tycoon, who was recently appointed vice-president of the Patients Association, called for all hospital staff to be screened for the superbug MRSA and receive immediate treatment if infected.

He has also said managers at failing NHS trusts should be fired.

Infection rates for MRSA are falling across the UK with the most recent quarterly figures showing a 33 per cent drop year on year, but Sir Richard is calling for more to be done.

The entrepreneur - whose daughter Holly is a doctor - told the BBC: "There have been some improvements, but the facts speak for themselves - and the facts are still horrific.

"It feels like they have tinkered with the problem rather than really got to the heart of the problem. The hospitals are there to cure people. They are not there to kill people."

He said the NHS could learn from the airline industry about how to avoid mistakes and improve.

"In the airline industry if we had that kind of track record we would have been grounded years ago," he said.

"In the airline industry if there is an adverse event that information is sent out to every airline in the world.

"And every airline makes absolutely certain that that adverse event doesn't happen twice."

Sir Richard is helping to organise an international conference on infection control and patient safety early next year."

I'm pleased he is not afraid of speaking out about these important matters. He sounds as though he is an appropriate person to be vice-president of the Patients Association.

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