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£5m single-case MRSA compensation is "NHS wake-up call"

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

A UK NHS patient is to receive record-breaking compensation of £5m ($9.8m) for damages in relation to contracting a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The infection was contracted following an operation at London's Chelsea and Westminster hospital, in 2004. The amount, which far exceeds normal compensation levels, is being awarded (in principle, Clinica understands) to a television celebrity for the seriousness and career-damaging sequelae of the infection. The payout is comparable to the total MRSA compensation awarded during 2002-06. Nevertheless, it was welcomed by the Patients Association as a "wake-up call for the NHS" to tighten infection controls. Almost 6,400 cases of MRSA were recorded in England in 2007.

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