Much of the recent work in tackling meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has focused on hygiene in hospitals, but it is unclear how much hospital staff know about the treatment and management of patients who are colonized or infected with MRSA. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and perceived practice of staff regarding MRSA and its management in an acute hospital setting. A further aim was to determine what staff felt was needed in terms of information or education on the risks, management and treatment of MRSA. A questionnaire survey was carried out through group administration during a study day and by face-to-face interviews. Subjects included in the questionnaire were infection and colonization, treatment, and the availability of local support and advice. There were 174 responses, divided equally between doctors and nurses. Knowledge on many aspects of MRSA and its management was deficient, although the majority of participants who felt that they required additional information about MRSA acknowledged this. The survey confirmed that assumptions should not be made about adequate knowledge and expertise of staff in relation to MRSA. Gaps in awareness of aspects of care and management were highlighted and information and educational needs identified. (C) 2007 The Hospital Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.