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Monday 18th June 2018

Government has taken 'eye off ball' on HAIs

10th November 2009

The Public Accounts Committee has warned that the government is not paying enough attention to hospital acquired infections other than MRSA and Clostridium difficile.


The cross party group of MPs said government targets meant that as many as eight in ten HAIs were not being reported.

Annually, around 300,000 people in England are infected while they are treated in hospital. HAIs can include E coli, pneumonia and surgical infections.

A report by the PAC said that HAIs could actually be increasing, despite official statistics which show a decrease in the amount of MRSA and C difficile cases.

Data compiled by the Health Protection Agency based on voluntary reporting showed that blood infections in hospitals increased by 30% during 2003-2007. Cases of E coli increased by around one third 33%) during the same time frame.

Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said it was "disappointing" that the DH had not responded to their recommendation to ensure the reporting of all HAIs was made mandatory.

"The Department has achieved significant reductions in MRSA bloodstream and C diff infections, for which it set national targets," he said.

"But, in so doing, it has taken its eye off the ball regarding all other health care-associated infections – which actually constitute most by far, four-fifths, of all infections." 


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