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Last Updated: Friday, 3 June, 2005, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
Hospitals defend MRSA Bible move
Hospital ward -generic
There are concerns bedside books could help spread infection
Hospitals in Leicester have denied they are preparing to remove copies of the Bible from their wards.

NHS trust spokesperson Anne McGregor said they were considering where to store the books and would consult staff on the possible risk of MRSA infection.

But Gideons International, which distributes Bibles, said claims of a possible health risk were "nonsense".

Ms McGregor denied reports that the move was prompted by concerns the Bibles might offend non-Christians.

'Outrageous'

She said: "We are looking at safer storage of religious materials, but we want to accommodate all types of religions material on the wards."

The Bibles might be removed from lockers but they would be available elsewhere, she said.

"We are taking advice from our infection control teams - and our service equality panel - to see how we can best make religious material available."

Earlier Gideons International, which distributes the Bibles widely in hospitals, hotels, cruise liners and prisons, had said their removal would be "outrageous".

Iain Mair, executive director at their Lutterworth base, said: "They are saying there's a potential MRSA risk, and we say that is nonsense."

Pauline Tagg, hospital director of nursing said: "They are not disposable they haven't got a wipeable cover.

"If they are stained or contaminated then they cannot be cleaned effectively."

Leicester Universities NHS Trust runs the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital and the Leicester General Hospital.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Health chiefs defend the Bible removal plan



SEE ALSO:
Bedside Bibles could be removed
02 Jun 05 |  Leicestershire


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