Skip to main content

Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many claims relating to healthcare associated infections the NHS Litigation Authority has dealt with in each year since 1997. (184513)

Not all claims related to health care associated infection (HCAI) can be identified. The following table shows those claims where methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and/or Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) are regarded as one of the injuries.

Information on HCAI-related claims prior to 1999 is not available due to the coding systems in place at that time, which do not allow analysis for HCAIs.

Claims data by notification year (notified to trust) for claims where MRSA and/or C. Difficile are recorded as one of the injuries (as at 31 December 2007) are as follows.

Number

Notification year

Open claims

Claims closed with no damages

Claims settled with damages

Total claims

1999-2000

0

1

1

2

2000-01

0

3

0

3

2001-02

0

2

8

10

2002-03

3

15

24

42

2003-04

4

34

28

66

2004-05

10

47

15

72

2005-06

35

50

12

97

2006-07

90

26

12

128

2007-081

101

5

4

110

Total

243

180

107

530

1 Denotes data to date for current period.

Source:

NHS Litigation Authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of healthcare associated infections were voluntarily reported to the Healthcare Protection Agency in each of the last five financial years for which figures are available, broken down by (a) type of infection and (b) trust. (184515)

The following table gives data collected from the voluntary reporting system from 2002 to 2006 for the nine most common causes of bacteraemia (bacterial bloodstream infections) and for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), which is associated with diarrhoea and not the blood stream. These data are not available by trust or by financial year.

These organisms are associated with infections that are transmitted mainly or partly within hospitals.

Organism

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Escherichia coli

12,709

15,052

15,741

16,961

18,079

Coagulase negative staphylococci

6,604

8,609

10,091

11,708

14,943

Staphylococcus aureus

12,895

14,603

14,173

14,065

13,648

MRSA (Percentage)

42.5

41.2

39.7

39.6

37.9

Enterococcus spp

4,421

5,611

5,887

6,477

7,109

Klebsiella spp

3,515

4,169

4,639

4,853

5,198

Streptococcus pneumoniae

4,163

5,135

4,526

4,971

4,553

Pseudomonas spp

2,382

2,969

2,897

3,069

3,477

Enterobacter spp

1,874

2,256

2,284

2,314

2,418

Proteus spp

1,662

1,882

1,818

1,805

1,845

C. difficile

26,357

33,201

40,414

47,022

51,145

Source:

Healthcare Protection Agency laboratory reports (voluntary reporting system).

The increase in bacteraemias is partly due to better reporting, surveillance and testing and may also reflect a changing hospital population, with more patients who are vulnerable to infection through conditions which compromise their immune systems being treated.