SNP congratulate NHS staff on further HAI progress

The SNP has congratulated NHS staff after figures on deaths from healthcare associated infections show the huge progress they continue to make in the fight against MRSA and C. diff.

In 2011, there were a total of 169 deaths in which Clostridium difficile (C. diff) was mentioned on the death certificate - 101 fewer than in 2010. Meanwhile there were a total of 62 deaths in 2011 in which MRSA was mentioned on the death certificate, 56 fewer than in 2010.

These totals represent the combined number of cases where C. diff or MRSA was either a contributory factor or the underlying cause of death.

These latest statistics show the effect that the overall reduction in cases of C. diff and MRSA infections is having, with figures last month revealing incidences of both infections are at their lowest levels since recording began.

Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris, Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:

“These figures show that the zero-tolerance approach of the SNP Government is having a dramatic impact on reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections, with a fall of more than 70% since 2007.

“Every time an infection picked up in the health system plays a part in a patient’s death is an absolute tragedy, and is completely unacceptable. However, what these figures show is that the tide really is turning and the determination to tackle these infections is paying off.

“The SNP Government has brought in a range of measures, including tripling the funding dedicated to tackling healthcare associated infections.

“Yet it is the dedicated members of staff across the NHS who are the real source of this turnaround, and they deserve enormous credit for what they have achieved so far.

“There is no room for complacency, but I am confident that NHS staff will continue working hard to ensure that deaths from hospital acquired infections become a thing of the past.”