Patients at lower risk of infection

Published on Thursday, 04 July 2013 16:12
Written by Scott Buckler

Scotland has a lower rate of healthcare associated infections (HAI) than the European average, according to a report published today

The statistics released by the European Centre for Disease Control (EDCD) show that the percentage of Scottish patients with HAIs in acute hospitals is 4.7 per cent, 1.3 per cent lower than the European average of six per cent.

This means that efforts by NHS staff to reduce the spread of infection are making a difference.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: "I am delighted to see that our efforts to reduce healthcare associated infections are working and that Scotland is performing well in comparison to the rest of Europe.

"It is vital that patients have confidence in the quality of care and treatment they will receive if they need to go into hospital and this confidence should not be undermined by the fear of contracting an infection.

"That is why tackling HAIsisso important and these figures highlight how effective the efforts of NHS staff to drive down infection rates have been.

"Figures published by HPS this week also show that MRSA cases have reduced by 85.1 per cent since 2007, and Clostridium difficile infections in patients aged 65 and over are now at their lowest ever level.

"While we have made significant progress in this area, there is always more to be done. Staff, patients and visitors all have a role to play in making sure good standards of cleanliness and hand hygiene are maintained as we continue our drive to reduce these infections."

Initiatives which have been successfully introduced to tackle healthcare associated infections include regular independent, unannounced hospital inspections and investing £5.8 million in supporting research into HAIs in Scotland.

Over £18 million of additional resources have also been provided to NHS Boards since 2009 to pay for hundreds of additional cleaning staff, and a zero tolerance approach to non-compliance with hand hygiene policies has been introduced.

Add comment