NHS tracks more infections7th April 2011
Greater transparency to drive up standards for patients
The first set of mandatory monthly data for meticillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) blood stream infection is being published today as part of the Government’s commitment to provide patients and the NHS with more information to improve quality of care.
The new data, published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), comes after last year’s commitment to ensure patients have access to a wider range of information about healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) to improve transparency and help drive down infections.
There were 738 cases of MSSA in January and 675 in February. At the same time the latest HPA monthly data show a 29 per cent reduction in cases for MRSA and a 23 per cent reduction in cases for C. difficle between February 2010 and February 2011.
The Department also announced today that mandatory surveillance would also be extended to include E. coli data from June 2011. This extends the Government’s commitment to greater transparency of information.
Health Minister Simon Burns said:
“The NHS has made significant reductions in MRSA and C. difficile infections, but we have been clear that a modern NHS must adopt a zero tolerance approach to all infections to improve patient care.
“By publishing this extra information on MSSA now and on E.coli in the future, patients will have the facts to help them make meaningful choices and hold hospitals to account over performance on healthcare associated infections.
“Greater transparency of information encourages providers to continue to reduce infections, leading to better patient outcomes, as well as savings for the NHS.”
The extension to monitor MSSA and E.coli will establish a robust baseline from which future comparisons can be made to determine the proportion of infections that are healthcare associated. As new monthly data comes in and data quality improves, organisations will be able make comparisons and intervene to focus on those infections that occur in healthcare settings.
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