A multicentre susceptibility study was performed on staphylococci and enterococci isolated from patients at 3 different ward levels: primary care centres (PCCs), general hospital wards (GHWs) and intensive care units (ICUs), in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. There was a markedly higher incidence of resistance among CoNS in ICUs compared to GHWs and PCCs. Resistance rates were low among S. aureus isolates and no differences were found between the ward levels. Oxacillin resistance was found among 1.6% of S. aureus and 47% of CoNS isolates. 14% of CoNS and 0.9% of S. aureus isolates were glycopeptide intermediate. The prevalence of E. faecium isolates in this study differed significantly between the ward levels with the lowest prevalence found at PCCs. High level gentamicin resistant (HLGR) enterococci occurred in 11-25% of E. faecium and 6-20% of E. faecalis isolates. The HLGR rate was significantly higher among E. faecalis from hospitalized patients (GHWs and ICUs) compared to patients at PCCs. For enterococcal isolates, no other significant differences in antimicrobial resistance were found between the ward levels. All enterococci were teicoplanin susceptible, but decreased susceptibility to vancomycin was found among 2.0% and 0.6% of the E. faecium and E. faecalis isolates, respectively.