A new study has found that hospital cleaners usually do not pay proper attention to door handles and light switches, and are thus putting patients' lives at risk.
The National Health Service (NHS) policy concentrates on visible dirt found on floors and toilets, but the researchers suggest that surfaces in wards that are touched by hands—such as door handles, bed rails, infusion pumps, and switches that are "poorly cleaned"—can harbour MRSA.
Writing about their findings in the famous medical journal The Lancet, the researchers said that patients would always be at risk unless cleaning regimes were stepped up.
Dr Stephanie Dancer of South General Hospital, Glasgow, said that there was little evidence that basic cleaning cut the risk of affliction by the superbug, as the microorganisms are invisible to the naked eye.
She stressed the need for tackling "hidden germs".
"The evidence for MRSA contamination of a huge variety of hospital items, and particularly hand-touch sites, is overwhelming," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
Dr. Dancer recommended giving greater priority to proper cleaning of areas most likely to harbour and transmit the superbug.