Downturn in hospital infections

NHs Borders says it is matching the national trend by seeing a decrease in the number of hospital infections over the past three years.

Figures show that levels of Clostridium difficile (CDI) and MRSA in the region amongst both 15-64 year olds and the over 65s are on the decline with a board total of just one case of CDI in January and February 2011 respectively and one case of MRSA in January but none last month.

Over the past three years NHS Borders has implemented a number of measures to reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) and these include: the routine monitoring of staff hand hygiene compliance; extended screening for MRSA; investment in additional Infection Control staff; improved antibiotic prescribing; improved clinical practice on wards; implemented infection control audit programme and investment in additional cleaning staff.

Sheena Wright, Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Patient safety is the number one priority for NHS Borders and working to reduce the incidence of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) is part of our commitment to that.

“NHS Borders has been subject to independent inspections from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) Inspection Team.

“Following each inspection, an Action Plan was developed to further strengthen and improve our arrangements.

“The report from the last unannounced inspection in December 2010, shows that NHS Borders has improved compliance with NHS Quality Improvement Scotland HAI Standards to protect, patients, staff and visitors.”