Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a common skin bacterium, often living in the anterior nares of the nose, groins, and armpits without causing any ill health (known as colonisation). Occasionally it can cause disease, ranging from minor infections such as minor skin infections, to more serious infections such as wound infections or blood stream infections.

Many strains of S. aureus are sensitive to the commonly used penicillin antibiotics; however, some strains are resistant to these antibiotics. The antibiotic resistant strains are known as meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Treating infection caused by MRSA is harder due to fewer antibiotic choices. MRSA presents an increased risk of cross-infection to vulnerable patients, such as those with large open wounds or invasive devices or those who are immunocompromised. It is therefore important to identify patients colonised/infected with MRSA as early as possible and use the appropriate infection prevention and control precautions to minimise the risk of cross-infection.

SA / MRSA is present in the hospital and in the community setting, such as in residential or nursing care homes or even in the patient’s own home. Therefore, standard infection prevention and control precautions should be used at all times and with all patients, wherever healthcare is delivered.



The purpose of this Policy is to set the Trust infection prevention and control standards for the care and management of patients with MRSA, including the Trust MRSA screening requirements.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Shila Patel, Nurse Consultant Infection Prevention and Control
Ratified by: Control of Infection Committee
Date Ratified: April 2023
Date Issued: June 2023
Review Date: April 2026
Target Audience: All staff working in clinical / patient areas
Contact name: Shila Patel, Nurse Consultant Infection Prevention and Control


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