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Hospital Acquired Infections

Volume 410: debated on Friday 19 September 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 8 September 2003, Official Report, column 6W, on healthcare-associated infections, what the longer term strategy is; and what measures he will use to evaluate the contribution made by each of the targeted action plans. [129714]

On 9 June 2003 the Chief Medical Officer announced that he would be spearheading a new Government drive to tackle healthcare associated infections and in particular hospital acquired infections. Alongside action to target

problem areas and step up monitoring of infections, he will look at evidence from other countries to see what we can learn from them, and an action plan for the longer term will be published later this year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the incidence of hospital-acquired infections since March. [129484]

The number of reported incidents of hospital acquired infections is not available. Comprehensive data on hospital infections are currently only available for methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections.A new national mandatory surveillance system for healthcare associated infection started with reporting of methicillin resistant

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood stream infections (bacteraemias), in April 2001. All acute trusts in England now collect this information and results for the first year of this scheme (April 2001 to March 2002) were published by individual trusts in the Communicable Disease Report Weekly on 20 June 2002. They are available at PDFfiles/2002/cdr2502.pdf.

National data on MRSA blood stream infections are published quarterly in the Communicable Disease Report Weekly. Data for the last quarter (1 April to 30 June 2003) will be published shortly.