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According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE):

Around 300,000 people get an infection while being cared for within the NHS in England each year. One in 16 people being treated on the NHS picks up an infection. As a result, more NHS resources are consumed and the affected patients are at increased risk.[1]

Effective hand decontamination, even after wearing gloves, results in significant reductions in the carriage of potential pathogens on the hands and decreases the incidence of preventable healthcare-associated infections, leading in turn to a reduction in morbidity and mortality. Hand decontamination is considered to have a high impact on outcomes that are important to patients. Although hand hygiene has improved over recent years, remaining misconceptions about this standard principle of infection control are reported and good practice is still not universal.[2]

Rates of MRSA, MSSA and C Difficile

Since quarter 2 of 2012 there has been a 27% decrease in the rate of total MRSA bacteraemia reports when compared to the current quarter (quarter 3 2015) – down from 1.1 to 0.8 reports per 100,000 bed days. This is part of an overall decreasing trend beginning from April 2007.  However, the rates of Trust assigned MRSA bacteraemia reports in the current quarter have increased by 14.0% (when compared to the same quarter in the previous year (0.7 to 0.8 per 100,000 bed-days).

MSSA rates have also increased when comparing quarter 3 of 2015 with quarter 3 of 2014 – up to 8.2 per 100,000 bed days from 7.9.

C Difficile rates for quarter 3 of 2015 were the same as in the third quarter of 2014, however rates have fallen since 2012.

[1] Infection prevention and control, NICE quality standard [QS61], April 2014 Introduction

[2] As above: Quality statement 3: Hand decontamination,.

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