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Healthcare: Secondary Infection

House of Lords written question – answered on 18th June 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Spokesperson for Health

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the factors that increase healthcare-associated infections in secondary care.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

We have based our infection control advice for secondary care on the best available evidence. There are a range of important factors that if not addressed will lead to increased rates of infection.

The EPIC evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs), which has already been placed in the library, set out the personal actions required to prevent HCAIs. Important factors are hand hygiene, environmental hygiene, correct antimicrobial prescribing, safe disposal of sharps, and correct aseptic technique.

Organisational measures needed to prevent infections are detailed in the code of practice for the prevention and control of HCAIs, which has also already been placed in the Library. These include appropriate surveillance, clear antibiotic prescribing policies, board-level assurances for HCAI performance, adequate training for all staff in infection control and co-ordination between organisations.

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