This issue of Health Matters focuses on making cervical screening more accessible.
This latest edition of Health Matters aims to address the decline in cervical screening attendance by presenting recommendations that can help increase access to screening and awareness of cervical cancer.
Despite the success of the programme, screening coverage has fallen over the last 10 years and attendance is now at a 19-year low. Coverage is going down across all age groups.
This document describes the process used by the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) to review the evidence relating to the introduction, modification and cessation of national population screening programmes.
The process set out in the document builds on the UK NSC’s previous practice and will be revisited and refined in winter 2016 following:
the pilot of the annual call for new topics
further work on the UK NSC’s approach to development of rapid reviews
completion of a statement on cost effectiveness assessments
completion of a framework for consideration of ethical, social and legal issues relating to screening
Garvey, M.I. et al. Journal of Infection Prevention. Published online: 4 August 2016
Patients in care homes are often at ‘high risk’ of being methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonised. Here we report the prevalence of MRSA, the effect of MRSA screening and decolonisation in Wolverhampton care-home residents.
Eighty-two care homes (1665 residents) were screened for MRSA, three times at 6-monthly intervals (referred to as phases one, two and three). Screening and decolonisation of MRSA-colonised residents led to a reduction in the prevalence of MRSA from 8.7% in phase one, 6.3% in phase 2 and 4.7% in phase three.
Overall, the study suggests that care-home facilities in Wolverhampton are a significant reservoir for MRSA; screening and decolonisation has reduced the risk to residents going for procedures and has indirectly impacted on MRSA rates in the acute Trust.
Humphreys, H. et al. Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: 18 June 2016
Image shows Staphylococcus aureus on ChromID CPS chromogenic agar. Isolate from a urine sample from a 45 year old catheterised male awaiting surgery for a bladder stone.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are amongst the most common healthcare-associated infections and significantly contribute to patient morbidity and healthcare costs. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common microbial cause.
The epidemiology of S. aureus is changing, with the dissemination of newer clones and the emergence of mupirocin resistance. The prevention and control of SSIs is multi-modal and we have reviewed the evidence for the value of screening for nasal carriage of S. aureus and the subsequent decolonization of patients pre-operatively who are positive. Pre-operative screening, using culture- or molecular-based methods and the subsequent decolonization of patients positive for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus and methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) reduces SSI and hospital stay. This applies especially to major clean surgery, such as cardiothoracic and orthopaedic, involving the insertion of implanted devices.
However, it requires a multi-disciplinary approach coupled with patient education. Universal decolonization pre-operatively without screening for S. aureus potentially compromises the capacity to monitor for the emergence of new clones of S. aureus, contributes to mupirocin resistance, and prevents the adjustment of surgical prophylaxis for MRSA, i.e. the replacement of a beta-lactam agent with a glycopeptides or alternative.
Smith, S.J. et al.Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: 13 May 2016
Universal meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) screening has been in effect since 2010. MRSA bacteraemia rates have declined substantially, with continuing low MRSA prevalence in hospitals.1 In 2013, the UK Department of Health (DH) commissioned a review of MRSA screening ‒ The National One Week prevalence audit (NOW) ‒ which reviewed the cost-effectiveness of a variety of screening strategies.2Modelling studies determined that the current practice of universal MRSA screening was the least cost-effective and that current compliance with screening was low at 65.7%.