“Considerable progress” made in tackling Scottish hospital infections

THE number of hospital acquired infections in Scottish hospitals has fallen, new quarterly figures show.

C difficile infections in patients over 65 have dropped to record-low levels while cases amongst 15 to 64-year-olds fell by almost 30 per cent. The decrease was recorded in January to March 2015 compared with the previous quarter.

The Scottish Government figures also show cases of MRSA fell by more than a third (35 per cent) over the same time period, while MSSA increased by just under four per cent. This means that for total Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream (SAB) infections, there was a decrease of 1.3 per cent. This is said to be in line with seasonal trends.

Since the start of 2007, MRSA and C difficile cases have dropped by 87 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: "There is no doubt we have made considerable progress on tackling healthcare associated infections across our NHS."

She credited the results to "the hard work" of NHS staff at all levels.

But the minister said more needs to be done and that the Government would continue to work with Health Protection Scotland and the Healthcare Associated Infection Task Force to further reduce infections.

She added: "We are taking forward the recommendations which came out of the Vale of Leven report to improve the systems in place – such as creating local infection taskforces and working to give Healthcare Environment Inspectorate the power to close wards to new admissions."