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December 3, 2022
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London: The Superbug Capital of the World?
Produced by: Gillian Gray
Newspaper headlines have dubbed London "the superbug capital of the world" because of the number of deadly infections, such as MRSA, in the city's hospitals. But across Britain there has been an alarming rise in infections caused by bugs resistant to antibiotics and poor standards of cleanliness have been identified as a major cause. Many people are genuinely scared at the prospect of hospital treatment and the National Health Service is taking steps to improve hospital hygiene, including setting up the post of Ward Housekeeper. In this program, we meet patients and staff in the Lane Fox Respiratory Unit at St. Thomas' Hospital on the banks of the River Thames. Here an infection control initiative has been launched that's a model for the rest of Britain. We spend a day on Lane Fox ward, following Ward Housekeeper Charles Bell and Ward Sister Hazel Chisholm, as they work, often against the odds, to ensure that a stay in hospital does not leave their patients in a worse state than when they arrived. This program was produced by Gillian Gray of the BBC and airs as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Check-up on World Health.

Program Credits

London: The Superbug Capital of the World? was recorded at the Lane Fox Respiratory Unit at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, part of the Guy's and St. Thomas' Trust. The recordings were by Dan Shepherd, and the program was produced for the BBC World Service by Gillian Gray. This program originally aired as part of our special international collaboration, Global Perspectives: Check-up on World Health.


Superbug Crackdown is Launched
The BBC tracks MRSA infections in London hospitals.

Superbug Strain Hits the Healthy
New Scientist Magazine featured this article explaining the impact of the superbug, MRSA, in the US and in Europe.

Center for Disease Control
The CDC provides facts on MRSA and information on how to control and prevent infection.

Health Protection Agency Response to Infection
The British HPA outlines, on this site, what it plans to do to fight hospital infections like MRSA.

Global Perspective Series on World Health
A provocative look at health care around the world. Aging issues, life and death matters, public policy and personal decisions. SOUNDPRINT offers a health "check-up" in a groundbreaking global collaboration of the world's best documentary producers. Tune in for a screening of health issues from around the globe.

Attack of the Superbugs: The Crisis of Drug-Resistant Diseases
by: Kathiann M. Kowalski 2005
This book examine the crisis generated by resistant illnesses.

Protect Yourself in the Hospital: Insiders Tips for Avoiding Hospital Mistakes for Yourself or Someone You Love
by: Thomas A. Sharon 2003
This book will guide you on how to prevent infections and other problems you may have at the hospital.

Hospital Infection: From Miasmas to MRSA
by: Graham A. Ayliffe, Mary P. English 2003
Hospital infection control has changed through history. This book documents the advancements in healthcare and in managing the newest strains of superbugs.

Killer Superbugs: The Story of Drug-Resistant Diseases
by: Nancy Day 2001
The author of this book for young readers argues that the over use of antibiotics has lead to resistant strains of microorganisms.

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Programs by Gillian Gray

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