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Survey shows prevalence in HAIs in England has dropped

Recently published results from a survey of hospitals in England have shown a drop in patients contracting healthcare associated infections since the previous results, five years before, were released.

For the first time ever, the results from Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency), also included private hospitals in addition to National Health Service facilities.

Author: Public Health England (previously Health Protection Agency)

Original article title: English National Point Prevalence Survey on Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use, 2011

Contraction of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in England dropped by almost 2% in 2011 – according to survey results.

Public Health England (formerly the Health Protection Agency - HPA) surveyed 103 hospitals: 99 from the NHS and, for the first time ever, five from the independent sector, from September to November 2011. The aim was to gather data on patients who had contracted HAIs as well as the prevalence of antimicrobial use (AMU).

The findings show that 6.4% of the 52,000 patients surveyed were found to have HAIs, a total of 3,360 (135 were found to have more than one). This shows improvement since the last survey, carried out in 2006, when 8.2% of patients surveyed had contracted an infection.

Other key points from the survey:
• The most frequent HAIs detected were respiratory tract, urinary tract and surgical site infections
• Overall prevalence of HAIs in independent hospitals alone were only 2.2%
• The prevalence of antimicrobial use (AMU) was 34.7%. This is the first time AMU was measured nationally. This provides a baseline for future monitoring
• The prevalence of HAIs, AMU and device use was highest in intensive care units, which relates in part to the complexity and vulnerability of patients in this setting

The conclusion of the results report said: “This survey has demonstrated that national policies for the control of MRSA and CDI have clearly brought rewards. This focus should remain.”

One example of where UK hospital trusts have benefited from the introduction of Automated Area Decontamination, and specifically ASP’s GLOSAIR™ technology, is Broomfield hospital, where the system not only reduced HAIs but also raised the hospital’s profile in the Healthcare Community.

Another example is the Royal Liverpool Hospital and Broadgreen University Hospitals, who saved approximately £500 each day after GLOSAIR™ helped prevent Norovirus in the facility.

Public Health England made the recommendations shown below following publication of the results, lessons that have relevance across the whole of EMEA.

• Sustained education of all clinical staff on the methods of prevention of HAI
• Development of learning tools for the prevention of healthcare-associated pneumonia
• Assessment of competency for device insertion – urinary catheter, central and peripheral vascular catheters – should be regularly undertaken and be reviewed at each new healthcare setting or site
• Guidance on the prevention and control of Enterobacteriaceae within healthcare settings
• Increased surveillance on surgical site infections, especially in surgical specialties where a high prevalence was detected.
• Development of standardised incidence surveillance methodology for pneumonia and catheter-associated UTI
• Public benchmarking and incidence surveillance in ICU – particularly ventilator-associated pneumonia
• Public reporting of organisations device prevalence to assist in reducing device use and shortening duration of use

Read the full report into the survey

*Advanced Sterilisation Products is committed to removing the threat of HAIs and offers a total solution to minimise the risk in healthcare facilities. Browse our solutions to find out how ASP can help in the mission to eradicate HAIs.


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