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Certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus have developed resistance to the more commonly used antibiotics, e.g. penicillin and flucloxacillin. These are now referred to as MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) as meticillin is used to test for resistance to flucloxacillin. Concern about the transmission of MRSA is related to the potential spread of this organism in hospital and the limited number of antibiotics available to treat infections caused by MRSA.

MRSA can infect or colonise damaged skin, e.g. wounds, ulcers, cannula sites or abnormal skin, e.g. eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis.

It can also cause more serious infections such as septicaemia, (mortality 60%) endocarditis, pneumonia and osteomyelitis.

Healthy people are not normally affected but may carry the organism in their nose or on their skin. Although healthy people can suffer skin infections such as boils from Staphylococcus aureus, there is no evidence that MRSA poses a significant risk to health care workers and their families.



To ensure that there is a robust procedure in place for screening in accordance with Department of Health guidance and as required and external agencies to ensure correct management of patients either colonised or infected with MRSA to prevent spread of the organism.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: The Infection Control Team
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: July 2019
Date Issued: July 2019
Review Date: July 2022
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Infection Prevention and Control Team


See also:

  • Isolation Policy
  • Cleaning and Disinfection Policy
  • Hand Hygiene Policy for Healthcare Workers