§ Ms Jowell
Information on the total number of cases of infection or colonisation with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is not collected centrally in England.
National epidemiological data on MRSA are compiled by the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) rather than centrally by the Department of Health, from isolates submitted voluntarily by hospitals in England and Wales for specialist microbiological tests. From these data the number of incidents of MRSA—ie. three or more patients infected or colonised by the same strain of MRSA in a month from the same hospital—is recorded. The total number of affected cases is not recorded. A table showing 481W the number of incidents for the year ending April 1997 for each of the old regional health authorities in England has been placed in the Library.