HEALTHCARE COMMISSION RESPONSE TO LATEST RATES OF HEALTHCARE ASSOCIATED INFECTIONS

Responding to a report released today Health Protection Agency (HPA), Murray Devine, Head of Safety at the Healthcare Commission said:

“These latest figures are a positive sign that the NHS is coming to grips with MRSA. This is despite significant increases in activity in hospitals, which are treating more elderly patients with more serious underlying illnesses. The reduction in MRSA reflects a concerted drive by healthcare organisations to put in place effective measures to deal with the infection.

“Clostridium difficile infections are still rising, but at a slower rate.
It’s pleasing to see that the number of infections from April to June this year is lower than the same period last year. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the HPA figures to see whether this is a sign of a downward trend.

 “However, hospitals must continue to focus on reducing rates of infections through raising board-level awareness and involvement, good antibiotic and isolation policies, high standards of cleanliness and staff training and the Healthcare Commission will continue to assess hospitals' progress in this area."

Notes to editors
Information on the Healthcare Commission The Healthcare Commission is the health watchdog in England. It keeps check on health services to ensure that they are meeting standards in a range of areas. The Commission also promotes improvements in the quality of healthcare and public health in England through independent, authoritative, patient-centred assessments of those who provide services.

Responsibility for inspection and investigation of NHS bodies and the independent sector in Wales rests with Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).
The Healthcare Commission has certain statutory functions in Wales which include producing an annual report on the state of healthcare in England and Wales, national improvement reviews in England and Wales, and working with HIW to ensure that relevant cross-border issues are managed effectively.

The Healthcare Commission does not cover Scotland as it has its own body, NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) undertakes regular reviews of the quality of services in Northern Ireland.

For media inquiries contact the press office on 0207 448 0868, or on 07779
990845 after hours.

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