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Hospital infection rates remain high

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent report carried out by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) found that hospital-acquired infections still pose a huge risk to patients. With previous years seeing great progress in the fight against hospital infections, it would seem that improvements have stalled. With bugs such as c-diff on the decline, there has been little progress regarding other hospital bugs since around 2012.

The report proposed a strategy to help tackle the problem, with many recommendations including handwashing procedures. The national scheme to monitor hospital staff handwashing was scrapped last year as they found it to make little difference.

Changes to hospital policies

Figures released in the HPS 2013 Healthcare Associated Infection Annual Report highlighted a decrease in Clostridium difficile cases in patients over 65; however, it remained high in patients between 15 and 64. It also highlighted that the number of Staphylococcus cases remained high across 2013, with little improvements. The most worrying finding of the report was that a worldwide trend of bacteria becoming immune to antibiotics continues to pose a threat.

HPS Lead Consultant in Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI), Prof Jacqui Reilly, said that major changes had to be made to hospital policies to improve general care, and subsequently reduce the amount of money being spent on fighting these hospital-acquired infections.

She also said that a manual was published in April that aims to help train NHS staff in infection prevention and in minimising the risk of cross-infections.

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