A CROSS-BORDER political rowhas brokenas the Conservatives blamed Labour in Wales for more women dying from a hospital superbug.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics revealed sharp falls in the number of deaths from MRSA and Clostridium difficile in England and Wales last year.
But there was a small rise in the rate of female deaths from C diff in Wales between 2009 and 2010 – up from 57.4 per million population to 59.5. This compares to a rate of just 23.5 in England.
It is not known why the rate has risen in Welsh women – it fell in men, as it did in England.
But the Tories said it was indicative of the “worsening services patients are experiencing in Labour-run Wales”.
Dr Daniel Poulter, Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and a member of the health select committee, said: “The NHS has gone backwards under Labour compared with clear improvements to NHS care in England under the coalition government.”
A source close to Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “We’ll take no lectures from a Tory party presiding over waiting lists for hospital treatment that are growing inexorably month by month and NHS reforms that no-one agrees with nor wants.
“We know from a recent BMA survey that Welsh doctors are pleased to be practising medicine in Wales in light of the proposed reforms to the NHS in England. The NHS in Wales holds true to its founding principles – providing care free at point of delivery.
“In May this year, the people of Wales overwhelmingly rejected Tory plans for marketisation and more competition and backed Labour’s vision instead.
“What the Tories in London think is quite frankly irrelevant.”
It is thought the overall downward trend in superbug infection-related deaths reflects the focus on reducing the number of healthcare associated infections in the NHS.
The figures – MRSA deaths are down