Figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show that cases of MRSA fell by 7% in the final quarter of last year.
The latest data show that in England there were 676 cases reported between October and December 2008, compared with the previous quarter, July to September, when 725 cases were reported.
The figures also show a 38% drop of MRSA infections for the same quarter in 2007, when there were 1,092 cases.
A spokeswoman for the HPA says the reduction is testament to the “huge efforts” being made to tackle the problem, which still “remains a big challenge”.
However, she warns that the NHS cannot get “complacent” to ensure the downward trend continues.
Health minister Ann Keen said: “The NHS hit its target to halve MRSA infections last year and these figures clearly demonstrate that our commitment to eliminate every possible avoidable MRSA infection continues to deliver safer care and is great news for patients.”
The results come ahead of the introduction of new measures to tackle healthcare-associated infections. From 1 April, all patients who are admitted to hospital for a relevant planned procedure will be screened for MRSA prior to admission.
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