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Our MRSA Screening Policy 

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has a comprehensive policy which details all aspects of MRSA screening, decolonisation, treatment and management and this is updated to reflect changes to national screening policies. Currently the Trust screens elective and emergency admissions using the following protocols:

Patients coming into hospital for an operation or a surgical procedure

Wherever possible screening will take place in the pre-assessment clinic. Where this is not possible patients will be screened when they attend for the operation or procedure:

  • All patients having an elective in-patient or day-case surgical procedure; this includes all surgical and medical specialties unless specifically exempt below. This also includes women for elective caesarean section.
  • All patients attending for elective in-patient interventions/invasive procedures. This includes all surgical and medical specialties unless specifically exempt below.
  • Some patients who’s procedure does not need them to stay in hospital will also need to be screened and our hospitals will screen as per the Department of Health recommendations.
Emergency admissions

All patients are screened on the day of admission or the next day at the very latest. This includes:

  • All emergency in-patient admissions. This includes all surgical and medical specialties. The only exception to this is for fertility or obstetric admissions where only women fulfilling high risk criteria need be screened.
  • All patients in Critical Care Units will be screened on admission. These units are ITU, HDU, Cardiac ICU, Neurosurgical ITU and neonatal IT
Continuing screening requirements

Patients in Critical Care Units are screened weekly whilst on; ITU, HDU, Cardiac ICU, Neurosurgical ITU and neonatal ITU

  • All in-patients whose stay is prolonged, regardless of whether the original admission was classed as elective or emergency, will be screened on a monthly basis.
  • In-patients with any type of central venous catheter will be screened weekly.
  • Out-patients with any type of central venous catheter will be screened monthly.
  • Patients who attend out-patient/day-case departments on a regular basis for specific courses of treatment or care pathways.

These include patients attending for Renal dialysis, Oncology/chemotherapy treatment, Investigations in the Clinical Investigations Units and  Antenatal services – generally women attending fertility and obstetric services do not need to be screened unless they fulfil the high risk criteria, see below.

Bespoke regimes for these groups have been agreed with the Infection Prevention and Control Team and generally patients who fall into these categories are screened at commencement of their out-patient/day-case treatment course and then monthly thereafter. All patients will be re-screened if admitted as an in-patient for any reason.

Screening exemptions

The following patient groups do not need to be routinely screened.

  • Day case ophthalmic surgery; screen high risk patients only
  • Day case dental
  • Day case endoscopy
  • Minor dermatology procedures e.g. warts or other liquid nitrogen applications. Patients having more invasive dermatological procedures should be routinely screened.
  • Children/paediatric patients; screen high risk patients only
  • Maternity/obstetric patients. Women having elective fertility or obstetric procedures, including termination of pregnancy, do not need to be screened unless there fulfil the high risk criteria below
High risk criteria
  • Patients known to have or previously have had MRSA
  • Patients who are themselves health-care workers
  • Patients who are frequent hospitals attenders. This is defined for MRSA screening purposes as: An inpatient stay within the last year
    Three or more attendances at out-patient clinics in the last year

If any patient has a specific question or would like further advice please contact one of our Infection Prevention and Control Nurses who will be pleased to help.



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