Epsom and St Helier hospitals are still missing key targets to reduce the number of patients getting serious infections.

In 2014-15, the hospital trust recorded seven cases of MRSA - a superbug resistant to many widely-used antibiotics - when its aim was to treat none.

It also had 42 cases of Clostridium Difficile (C Diff) - a bacterial infection which commonly occurs in elderly patients who have taken antibiotics and is transmitted via contaminated surfaces - two above its target of less than 40 cases.

In 2013-14, the trust hit its targets, set by the Department of Health, for C Diff, but not for MRSA and paid a £3,939 fine.

A spokeswoman for the trust said it would not be facing any fines for the last financial year.

She said: "Ordinarily, there are set national fines for breaching infection control targets, but due to the overall positive position of the trust at the end of the last financial year, it was decided that there would be no financial repercussions for the trust’s breeches.

"Despite this, and despite the difficulties created by the age of some of our buildings, we remain entirely committed to reducing our rates of infection where avoidable."

The trust ended the last financial year with a £79,000 surplus - an improvement from the £7.4m deficit in 2013-14 and £12.1m in 2012-13.

In an interview with the Epsom Guardian last month, trust chief executive Daniel Elkeles said he believes the state of the hospitals’ buildings make it harder to meet infection targets.

He said: "The standard we are not achieving, and other hospitals in south west London are, is about infections. "Our buildings do not help us is delivering the lowest standards of infection. "New buildings are much easier to keep clean, the space between the beds is much greater, there are more single rooms for people who are more acutely unwell and likely to be infectious. "New buildings help you deliver better infection control."

The trust will be spending £18m on buying equipment and improving the buildings at the hospitals in the next year.