§ Mr. Wilshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the rates of MRSA infection are at(a) St. Peter's hospital, Chertsey and (b) Ashford (Middlesex) hospital; 
(2) if he will list the hospitals in England that carried out major clean orthopaedic operations, indicating (a) the number of such operations carried out, (b) the number of those treated who contracted MRSA infection while in hospital, (c) the percentage rate of infection and (d) the year to which the statistics relate-ranking the hospitals in descending order of infection rate for the last year for which statistics are available for each hospital; 104W
(3) what were the rates of MRSA infection for major clean orthopaedic operations at (a) St. Peter's Hospital, Chertsey and (b) Ashford (Middlesex) hospital in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding` answer 15 March 2001]: At present the data requested are not available centrally. From April 2001 all acute trusts will be required to collate data on methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections and the information will be published from April 2002. Work is under way to develop a national surveillance system for surgical site infections focusing initially on orthopaedic surgery.
Aggregate data on numbers of incidents of MRSA voluntarily submitted by trusts for specialist microbiological tests and data for the last year are given in the table. These data are routinely available on a regional basis only Data on Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemias (blood infections) showing the proportion resistant to methicillin in England and Wales are published quarterly by the Public Health Laboratory Service in the Communicable Disease Report, copies of which are available in the Library.
Incidents of MRSA—2000 Number Eastern 60 London 170 Northern and Yorkshire 70 North West 90 South East 100 South West 10 Trent 30 West Midlands 50 Wales 40 Total 70
1. An incident is three or more patients infected or colonised by the same strain of MRSA in the same month from the same hospital.
2. Because of the criteria for reporting incidents to the PHSL these figures cannot be used as a reliable estimate of the total number of cases of MRSA.