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27 November 2007

Stevenson Welcomes Extra Funding To Tackel Hospital Infections

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed news of a multi-million pound increase in funding by the Scottish Government to tackle healthcare associated infection (HAI) in Scotland. £54 million is to be invested over the next three years in a raft of measures to combat hospital infections including the establishment of a national MRSA screening programme.

The plan, which will be overseen by a Scottish Government Task Force, will also see increased monitoring of hand hygiene compliance in the healthcare sector and will "raise the bar" on hospital cleaning standards. A series of measures will also be introduced to reduce patients' risk of contracting Clostridium Difficile, as well as other hospital infections.

Commenting Mr. Stevenson said;

“Infections contracted in hospitals such as MRSA or Clostridium Difficile are a concern for many people in Banff & Buchan. There is clearly no easy solution to this long-running problem but the funding the SNP has announced should certainly make a great deal of headway in reducing these infection rates.

"We should recognise that good progress has been made in reducing hospital infections, but we should also be under no illusion that more needs to be done. Today's delivery plan is about upping the ante in the fight against hospital bugs.

"The development of an MRSA screening programme demonstrates the Scottish Government’s determination to tackle one of the main sources of hospital infection. I know this is the right way forward and I am convinced screening will reduce the risk of MRSA infection and save lives here in the North East and across Scotland."


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Notes to editors:

This is the first HAI plan based on evidence of the extent of infections in Scottish hospitals, following the first point prevalence survey published earlier this year, which showed the true level of hospital bugs for the first time.
The Scottish Government's new priority areas are to:
• Target skin and soft tissue infections
• Introduce a pilot MRSA screening programme in 2008-09 which will pave the way for a national screening programme from 2009-10
• Develop "care bundles" to ensure that all patients consistently receive the best care or treatment at all times. These will be aimed at reducing Clostridium difficile; catheter infections; ventilator associated pneumonia; surgical site infections; hand hygiene and urinary infections
• Reduce bloodstream infections
• Implement new policies aimed at improving hand hygiene
• Ensure that additional surveillance information is gathered and put to use in the targeted areas of general medicine and care of the elderly

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