Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections

Infection prevention is everyone’s responsibility, as is providing clean and safe care to patients. Robust infection prevention practice is easier to instil than management of the problem, and will provide sustainable reductions in infection rates.

There has already been a significant reduction in some healthcare associated infections (HCAIs), specifically MRSA and Clostridium difficile. However, there remains capacity to further reduce these and other infections.

Everyone has a part to play in infection prevention and control, and we must all work together to tackle infections. Achieving this will enable patients to feel confident wherever they are having treatment.

HCAIs are everyone’s responsibility and reducing them remains a duty of every NHS organisation. Good hand hygiene, high standards of cleanliness and effective patient screening are all vitally important in the fight against infection.

Within the pages of this site you will find guidance, tools and examples of successful infection prevention and control practice that will help you, your organisation, patients and visitors play their part in reducing infections.

In this introductory section, you will learn why it is important to reduce HCAIs and how everyone has a role to play. In addition, the definition of a HCAI is provided with links to other, more detailed, external sites. Information on the legal requirements of all health and social care organisations to tackle infections, and the contractual levers that those commissioning healthcare have at their disposal are also detailed here (with links to case studies of organisations that have successfully included HCAI reduction into their contracts).

HCAIs cause unnecessary pain and suffering to patients and cost the NHS approximately £1billion per year. The resources available here will help strengthen the NHS’ commitment to a culture of zero tolerance to avoidable infection.

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