PERFORMANCE: The acute trust said it had remained “remarkably” free of norovirus even though it had breached its target for MRSA cases.

At the end of January, board papers said there had been five cases of MRSA bacteraemia and 12 cases of Clostridium difficile for the year to date.

Its target was for four MRSA cases during 2010-11, which becomes even tougher next year – dropping to three.

For C difficile, the trust has a target limit of 53 for 2010-11, but had only reached 12 by the end of January. Next year’s target will be 20 cases.

Board papers also highlighted that the trust had remained free of a norovirus outbreak so far this year, leading chair Sarah Dunnett to note: “The absence of a norovirus outbreak was remarkable.”

Assistant director of infection prevention and control Peter Orsman stated the reason was “likely related to the joint work being undertaken with the primary care trust; [and] the proactive press story encouraging people with norovirus symptoms to stay away from the hospital”.

Director of operations Gerard Sammon commented that the trust’s policy of having a 72 hour “quarantine period” for staff was also a “significant factor”.