HOSPITAL boss Sir Jonathan Michael has hit back at a Government claim that Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital is among England’s worst for cleanliness.

Sir Jonathan spoke out after it was put “among the worst” for infection control and cleanliness under new safety ratings.

The Government has scored hospitals according to seven standards on its NHS Choices website as part of moves for an “open and honest” NHS.

This was based on the number of clostridium difficile cases, where it was rated average for 0.01 cases per bed in the last three months. The rating classed the hospital as “poor” on MRSA as there was one case of the superbug in the last three months.

It also considered April results from the NHS inpatient survey for the trust which runs the hospital, which rated it average based on 444 responses.

Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) that ranked the trust 1,066 out of 1,359 health care places were also included.

But Sir Jonathan, chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said there had been a “consistent year-on-year reduction” in infections.

C difficile cases went from 108 to 92 to 65 and MRSA from five to four to five from 2011/12 to 2013/14.

The Department of Health said the MRSA case and PLACE assessment were the reason for the rating.

Sir Jonathan said: “We are very disappointed that we were rated poorly for infection control and cleanliness at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

“We do not recognise this description of our hospital.

“In fact we are among the strongest trusts in the country for our performance on tackling hospital acquired infections and recent reports.”

The trust met or exceeded standards around inspection results, staff views, staffing levels, number of blood clot assessments, responding to national safety guidance and reporting of concerns.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “Whilst the hospital must keep striving to be the best possible, I think the “among the worst” rating does not do justice to the staff at the hospital and the progress they are making.”

But Mark Ladbrooke, Unison Oxfordshire spokesman, criticised the trust and said cleaning staff were not at fault.

He said: “Our members are dedicated and are doing a remarkable job in very difficult conditions.”


  • IF MRSA gets into a break in the skin the bacterial infection can cause life-threatening infections like blood poisoning or a heart infection. Clostridium difficile is a bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, fever, cramps and life-threatening complications like swelling of the bowel.

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