COVID-19 information

Visiting is once again welcomed at The Walton Centre. So that we can safely reintroduce visiting, visits should be pre-booked with an allocated appointment slot. Patients can have two visitors each.

General safety measures remain in place at The Walton Centre - and in our other clinic settings within the community – until further notice. These include temperature checks, the wearing of face coverings and social distancing.


What is MRSA?

There are lots of micro-organisms (germs) on our skin and in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. Most of them are harmless, some are beneficial and a very small proportion can cause harm.


MRSA is a common germ known as Staphylococcus Aureus, which has developed a resistance to some antibiotics. Strains of MRSA were first found in the 1960’s following widespread use of antibiotics and occur in many countries.

This germ can live completely harmlessly on the skin and in the nostrils of about a third of healthy people. It can cause harm if it enters the body, for example through cuts and sores. Some people carry MRSA for just a few hours or days, but other people carry MRSA for months. They don’t know that they carry MRSA because they have no symptoms and it does not harm them. This is called ‘colonisation’. 

MRSA can cause problems in hospitals. This is because people who are ill are more vulnerable to infections. Complicated medical treatments, including operations, intravenous lines provide (drips) provide opportunities for germs to enter the body.

How do you know if you have MRSA?

People who carry MRSA do not look or feel different from anyone else. The MRSA does not harm them and they have no symptoms of infection. When patients come into the Walton Centre, a nurse will take swabs to check for MRSA. Patients who have an infection may develop signs and symptoms, such as a high temperature or a fever. An infected wound may become red and sore and discharge pus.

How did I get MRSA?

You may have acquired MRSA before you came into hospital or you may have acquired it in hospital.

How do hospital staff stop MRSA spreading?

Hospital staff takes special precautions with patients who have MRSA in order to stop it spreading to other people:-

  • Everyone should clean their hands before and after touching patients and/or their environment
  • Hands can be cleaned with a special hand wash called Octenisan
  • Staff will wear gloves and aprons when they care for a patient who has MRSA
  • Patients who have MRSA may be moved to a room on their own or into a bed space next to a sink

Do I have to stay longer in hospital because I have MRSA?

Patients who carry MRSA do not usually have to stay longer in hospital.

Can MRSA harm my friends and family when visiting me in hospital?

MRSA does not usually affect healthy people. It does not usually harm elderly people, pregnant women, children and babies. But it can affect people who have serious health problems, and people who have chronic skin conditions or open wounds. Visitors can reduce the risk of spreading MRSA to other people if they do not sit on beds and if they clean their hands at the end of their visit. Nurses can give you advice, which reflects the hospital’s policy. You should ask nurses for advice if:

  • Someone who has a long-term health problem and wants to visit a patient who has MRSA.
  • A patient who has MRSA wants to visit another patient in the hospital however we advise against this.

Will I need treatment for MRSA when I go home?

If you are colonised with MRSA you may be treated while you are in hospital particularly if you are likely to be re admitted. If you have a local or serious MRSA infection, you may need to continue treatment when you go home.

If your treatment is taking place at home -

You should wash every day with the body wash provided, ideally using a fresh towel to dry yourself each time. You should also wear a new set of clothes each day and try to change your bedding on a daily basis. Laundry should be washed at a high temperature separately from other people’s clothes and bedding.

Will the MRSA go away?

You may carry MRSA on your skin and in wounds without it causing any problems, however over time the MRSA may clear as you continue with your routine personal hygiene and regular washing of your laundry. MRSA can remain on the skin of some patients despite them receiving treatment. If you go to see your GP or any other healthcare professional, it is important that you inform them that you have had a positive MRSA result.

Contact us

For more information, please contact: Infection Prevention and Control Team 0151 556 3601

  • Last Updated:
    01 May 2019
  • Review Date:
    01 May 2022
  • Author:
    Infection Prevention and Control Team
  • Summary:

    MRSA is a common germ known as Staphylococcus Aureus, which has developed a resistance to some antibiotics.

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