Health secretary Andy Burnham has admitted the government could work harder in fighting hospital infections after a report accused the Department of Health of failing to monitor the situation adequately.

Speaking on GMTV, Andy Burnham said he would give “careful consideration” to the issues raised by the Commons public accounts committee investigation, but warned against introducing “cumbersome” measuring systems.

“There is further we can go, I acknowledge that, but we’ve got to get it right because I would also be accused if I introduced new, cumbersome systems of measuring data,” he said.

The Commons public accounts committee report said the government had ignored previous recommendations to monitor all healthcare related infections, choosing instead to concentrate on MRSA and C difficile.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh praised efforts that had led to a fall in the number of people suffering MRSA and C difficile, but said there was still no robust data on the extent and risks of at least 80 per cent of infections linked to hospital care.

Responding to the report, Mr Burnham said the government had listened to its recommendations and had taken specialist advice, the results of which were expected later in the year.