Figures from the National Audit Office which show that some hospital infections may be rising have prompted accusations that the government has been “neglecting” the problem.

More than one in 10 NHS trusts in England have seen an increase in cases of MRSA, and C difficile has risen in almost one in five. The NAO data show that other bloodstream infections, such as MSSA, could also be on the increase.

Edward Leigh, Conservative MP and chairman of the public accounts committee, said the increases were “threatening all those who use our healthcare system”. He added: “There has been a lamentable lack of progress in measuring these other infections and therefore they have been neglected.”

Although Department of Health targets to reduce MRSA bloodstream infections by 57 per cent and C difficile by 41 per cent were met, the NAO said that “compliance with good practice is still not universal”.

The body’s head, Amyas Morse, added that there was a “lack of robust comparable data” on infection risks. “The improvements are not uniform across the NHS and we still don’t know in any meaningful way what impact there has been on other healthcare associated infections,” he said.