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Br J Nurs. 2006 Jun 22-Jul 12;15(12):656-60.

Bed occupancy, turnover intervals and MRSA rates in English hospitals.

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  • 1Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, The University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.


This article (a follow on from an article concentrating on Northern Ireland) examines the relationship between percentage bed occupancy (PO), turnover interval (TI) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in the acute beds of specialist English hospital trusts and describes the TI and levels of bed occupancy. The data were collected from publicly available data: MRSA rates of blood-borne infection per 1000 bed days from the Department of Health; average length of stay from Hospital Episode Statistics; and percentage occupancy from the Department of Health Hospital Activity statistics were used. Pearson's Correlation coefficients were used as basis for inferential analysis. The mean TI for all trusts was as 0.94 days, median 0.95 days. Twenty percent of trusts had TIs, on average, of less than 0.58 days (13.9 hours) and 10% had a TI less than 0.32 days (7.6 hours). The mean PO was 84.98% and the median was 84.76%. Seventy percent of the trusts exceeded the recommended 82% bed occupancy. The inference from this study is that there is a relationship between TI and PO and rate of MRSA infection in specialist English hospitals and that PO rates are at a level which may interfere with good infection control procedures.

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