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Hospital-Acquired Infections

Volume 202: debated on Friday 24 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if national health service providers will be required to publish details of their record for incidences of hospital-acquired infections;(2) what statistics are held centrally on the incidence of hospital-acquired infection.

Provider units are responsible for monitoring hospital-acquired infection (HAI) as part of their infection control procedures. It is for provider units to consider whether and in what form to make available the results of such monitoring, as it is for purchasing authorities to determine the measures of quality of service that they specify in contracts. However it is clear that factors leading to HAI and the methods used to record it are so many and varied that it would be impossible for health authorities to publish tables on the overall incidence of HAI which would be both accurate and comparable, and such figures are not collected centrally. In a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) on 16 January at column 627, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced that the clinical standards advisory group in its forthcoming study, may wish to address the possibility of encouraging a greater degree of standardisation of data on HAI.