The government's deep clean and choice initiatives caused a big stink this week.
Two out of three hospitals would not complete the deep clean by the deadline, according to the Daily Mail, and "alarmingly" 55 trusts had cleaned around the patients. Replacing stainless steel fittings such as door knobs, taps and switches with copper ones could provide the answer to wiping out superbugs, the paper added, because copper "suffocates" them.
"Every one of the hospitals cleaned under Gordon Brown's flagship health policy will be back to square one as soon as the cleaners finish, because no one is stopping the bacteria such as MRSA and C difficile coming into the buildings," said the Independent on Sunday.
Professor Hugh Pennington told the paper: "The natural home of MRSA is either in infected patients or up the noses of the rest of us so that is what they should be attacking."
Luckily this week patient choice has been widened, so patients "can now avoid MRSA hotspots", the Mirror said. But The Sunday Telegraph pointed out that the success of choice "depends on providing reliable information" on MRSA, C difficile and quality of care, which the NHS Choices website does not.
Yet Lord Darzi intends to extend choice further. The Sunday Telegraph also reported the Department of Health is considering extending individual budgets to conditions like multiple sclerosis, and motor neurone disease. But "when people are ill they don't want an extra burden", said Sharon Schillerstrom of the MND Association.