Reducing HCAIs 2012

MRSA Action UK attended the Gov Today Conference: Healthcare Associated Infections, evaluating progress: analysing the threats
14th March 2012

Maria Cann and Helen Bronstein attended the GovToday conference which was interesting and also prompted some debate. There was a focus on antimicrobial stewardship, opportunities for colleagues to view the Remote Video Auditing of hand hygiene and how this had impacted on infection rates in the USA. There will be some pilots running in the UK and we hope to see these successfully implemented as this is monitored completely independently in real time, removing the 'halo' effect of visual audits, where staff automatically raise their compliance during the conventional methods of observation currently employed.

Minister of State for Health Simon Burns commended NHS staff across the country for their efforts in reducing infections. He said that national statistics can hide local problems and he was setting new ambitions to reduce infections even further, "I want to see a further 29% reduction in MRSA bacteraemias and an 18% reduction in C.difficile infections, which will be no more than 900 MRSA infections and 3,500 C.difficile infections by April 2013. There would be no free rides on the tail coats of the trail blazers, but individual responsibilities for all." The Minister also gave a commitment to surveillance of other pathogens and wished to see a zero tolerance to all avoidable infections.

Maria Cann from MRSA Action UK asked the Minister of State for Health:

"Patients need to be able to take control of their care and know what's involved and what to expect, when are we going to see a good public information campaign on antimicrobial resistance and hand hygiene?"

The Minister said "I think that raises an extremely important question because however much work and effort is taken by medical professionals in the hospital setting or the community setting, the benefits are obviously there, they are only part of the picture. Because patients also have an important role to play, it's a matter that we are looking at because more has got to be done on a national level and also on a local level, hospital by hospital, to get the message across to patients and to their families, and visitors coming into the hospitals, that they need to participate in schemes. The only way of doing that is by making sure they are educated and they are then in the habit of taking part in the same procedures that doctors and nurses do, and others associated with providing care, when going about their business, both in the hospital setting and elsewhere."

Maria asked him to reaffirm this commitment "So we are going to see an information campaign then?"

To which he replied "I very much hope so, yes, following further looking at the whole issue and how effectively this can be delivered at a national level and a local level, and also an overarching level because it isn't simply just public health messages, important as they are, it's about daily practice throughout the NHS."

It was good to catch up with colleagues from the Hand Hygiene Alliance, Health Protection Agency and other hospital trusts with the conference being well attended. More about the Remote Video Auditing for hand hygiene......

If you or someone you care about has been affected by a healthcare associated infection and you wish to discuss this with us, please contact us at

The information on this website is for general purposes only and is not a substitute for qualified medical care, if you are unwell please seek medical advice.

(c) MRSA Action UK 2011