Isles infection control measures reap results

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The efforts of NHS Western Isles staff to tackle Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) are paying off, as the Board’s latest Infection Control update demonstrates.

Key headlines in the August 2011 report include the fact that there has only been one SAB (bacterial infection of the blood associated with devices which penetrate the skin) since January 2011. For the same period in 2010, eight SABs had been reported.

Infection control measures taken within the community have resulted in a drop in the number of new MRSA cases acquired outwith the hospital setting. Five cases were reported during August 2011, compared to 14 last year.

The number of cases of MRSA acquired within the hospital setting has also continued to steadily decrease, with a clear downward trend emerging over the past two years.

One case was reported in August 2011, compared to three cases at the same time last year. As a result of the continued reduction in the number of cases acquired in hospital, the average number of cases has reduced from three to two.

Chief Executive Gordon Jamieson said: “Preventing infection is an extremely important area for the health service across Scotland. In the Western Isles, we have very low infection rates, and to demonstrate decreasing trends in infections such as MRSA is extremely encouraging, and down to the vigilance, motivation and very hard work of our staff.

“Whilst there are always further improvements to be made, this recent report demonstrates that we are certainly heading in the right direction.”