Have your say about what research is important and help put research into healthcare associated infections in the spotlight

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James Lind Alliance - Priority Setting Partnership (Healthcare associated infections)

What research into healthcare associated infections should we investigate?

What research about healthcare associated infections would make a difference to patients, carers and health professionals? What questions should researchers be working on? There is now a way to have your say about what research is important and help put research into healthcare associated infections in the spotlight.

Healthcare associated infections are normally defined as infections that affect patients in a hospital or other healthcare facility, and are not present or incubating at the time of admission. They also include infections acquired by patients in the hospital or facility that appear after discharge, and occupational infections among healthcare professionals. These types of infections are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare delivery worldwide, and are believed to cost the NHS at least £1bn annually and cause at least 5,000 deaths every year. Many patients' hospital stays are prolonged having a major impact on them and their families.

The James Lind Alliance, a partnership of patients and healthcare professionals, are conducting a survey on what research into healthcare associated infections we should investigate.

Why is this survey important?

There are a number of different prevention, identification and treatment options for healthcare associated infections. It is important that we undertake research to try to understand which of these are effective and make a difference to those affected.

Research should focus on questions that are important to people with, or at high risk of healthcare associated infections, those who care for them and healthcare professionals who treat, identify and try to prevent infections. The survey therefore aims to collect research questions from all these groups.

Whether you are a carer, patient or healthcare professional, your response will help us start to identify where there is uncertainty regarding prevention, identification, and treatment of healthcare associated infections. It will also determine if the most important research outcomes have been recorded. This means that if there is no existing research providing a reliable answer, the question should be addressed by future research.

This survey aims to identify these important research questions. We are focussing on identification, prevention and treatment of healthcare associated infections. Examples of the types of infection and interventions encompasses bloodstream, chest, wound or urinary tract infections, infections related to the use of catheters or other devices and hospital cleanliness. The use of antimicrobials is also very important, as is antimicrobial resistance, such as in the case of MRSA. This is not an exhaustive list and is given as a guide, we have made a short video to help you decide if you think you would like to take part.

The survey is being conducted by a group of clinicians and patient representatives overseen by a representative from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). More information about the group.

You can complete the survey online here. If you are accessing this information from an NHS computer it may not be possible to do this online, so alteratively you can also download the survey as a word document. Please send completed forms to k.gurusamy@ucl.ac.uk with the subject "JLA HCAI completed survey".

The closing date for completing the survey is 31st October 2015

If you would be interested in being further involved in the process, for example, participating in our second survey and workshop. Please send an email to Dr Kurinchi Gurusamy (k.gurusamy@ucl.ac.uk) with the subject of the email: 'Further participation in James Lind Alliance'. We may contact you again and there is no obligation to take part.

Email: Dr Kurinchi Gurusamy

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James Lind Alliance - Priority Setting Partnership (Healthcare associated infections)