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Sunday 16th June 2019

NICE publish guide on preventing and controlling HCAIs

9th November 2011

A new quality improvement guide has been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – in partnership with the Health Protection Agency - on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) in secondary care settings.


The guide identifies the organisational characteristics, arrangements and practices that describe excellence in care and practice to prevent and control HCAIs.

Figures show that in 2009/10 there were nearly 2000 reported incidences of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and over 25,000 reports of clostridium difficile infection (CDI) at a cost to the NHS of around £260 million.

Meanwhile, in 2009, 77 trusts reported 831 outbreaks of norovirus, the majority of which led to some form of ward closure.

HCAIs remain a significant financial burden for the NHS with infection prevention and control still a key priority. The guide is aimed at trust boards and senior management in secondary care settings and offers 11 quality improvement statements describing a level of excellence in infection prevention and control at a management or organisational level.

They include trusts: having a surveillance system in place to routinely gather data and to carry out mandatory monitoring of HCAIs and other infections to inform the local response to HCAIs; having clear communication with all staff, patients and carers throughout the care pathway about HCAIs, infection risks and how to prevent HCAIs, to reduce harm from infection; ensuring standards of environmental cleanliness are maintained above the national minimum requirement; working proactively with other local health and social care providers to reduce risk from infection.


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