An elderly woman was barred from returning to her Sussex care home after she contracted a hospital 'superbug'.

Gwen Wilkey went into hospital five months ago after breaking her hip. While recovering she contracted the MRSA bug.

The infection can take months to clear but Mrs Wilkey and her daughter Gill Perrett hoped she would be able to recover in her care home, Oakland Court in Felpham, Bognor.

But despite having lived there for two-and-a-half years, Mrs Wilkey was refused once it was discovered she was carrying the bug.

A spokesman for the home said individual cases could not be discussed.

The bug is commonly carried in the nose and on the skin and is found on healthy people as well as those in hospitals.

Once it gets under the skin or into the lungs it can lead to infections such as boils or pneumonia.

MRSA is usually treated in hospital but once a patient is discharged, high levels of hygiene can prevent it spreading to others.

Department of Health guidelines say: "There is a great deal of concern in nursing and residential homes about the spread and significance of MRSA.

"Sometimes people with MRSA have been refused admission to a home when ready for discharge from hospital.

"This can be distressing and cause difficulty for affected patients and their families."

The guidelines went on to say there was no justification for discriminating against people who have MRSA by refusing them admission to a nursing or residential home.

Mrs Wilkey is recovering in another care home in the area.