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Infectious Diseases

Volume 472: debated on Monday 3 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what records his Department holds of incidents of healthcare-associated infections outside hospitals and care homes; and how many such cases there were in each of the last five years. (187199)

The information requested is not available.

However the Health Protection Agency’s (HPA) enhanced surveillance scheme for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections, introduced on 1 October 2005, collects information on where the patient was located when the specimen was taken but it is not possible from this to reliably attribute infection to specific settings. The HPA analysed the first six months of enhanced data in “Mandatory Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infections Report 2006” available at: HCAI2006.pdf

A copy of the report is available in the Library. Most patients were admitted from home and two thirds of blood stream infections were detected two or more days after admission which indicates that these were acquired in the trust.

Information on the patient location for Clostridium difficile infection has been collected since April 2007 and the HPA aim to publish an analysis of this later this year.