A NURSE has been praised for her work in combating the potentially-deadly hospital "superbug" MRSA.

Sue Wolstenholme, senior infection control nurse at Wythenshawe Hospital, was highly commended by judges of the national Nursing Times awards for creating a series of instructions for staff to follow when patients contract the virus.

South Manchester NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has recently been praised for its low rates of MRSA bloodstream infections - it is third best of 46 English trusts. Specialists put this down to tight measures they have been put in place to combat the bug - methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus - which has evolved to become immune to antibiotics. Infections

The bug is usually carried on the skin or nasal passages of healthy people. It can cause serious infections and prove fatal among hospital patients, who are particularly vulnerable.

Researchers are now also testing a potential cure for the bug - made from a combination of tea tree oil and medicines - at Wythenshawe's burns unit. Sue received her special commendation at an awards ceremony attended by Health Secretary John Reid in London.

Her plan included creating a series of steps for staff to follow in an effort to avoid infection, plus ensuring that any patient contracting the infection is treated so that the bug is not spread among other patients.

Sue said: "It is a way of making sure procedures are followed to avoid outbreaks and then acting quickly when an infection is discovered.

"For example, an infected patient is put in a single en-suite room and has their bed linen changed and room cleaned daily."