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6.4 Infection and environment
Chair: Prof. Cairns Smith, UK
O6-4.1 Using cross-sectional epidemiological data to inform national healthcare associated infection policy
  1. S Cairns1,
  2. S Stewart1,
  3. J Reilly1,2
  1. 1Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  2. 2Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK


A National Point Prevalence Survey of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) was carried out in Scotland in 2005/2006 at the request of the Scottish Government. The point prevalence survey included 13754 patients and reported that 9.5% of patients in acute care hospitals and 7.3% of patients in non-acute care hospitals had a HAI at the time of survey. The inpatient cost to the National Health Service in Scotland was estimated to be £183 million.

The results from this cross-sectional survey were used to make evidence-based recommendations on priority areas for interventions to prevent HAI and priority areas for targeted incidence surveillance programmes in Scotland. These recommendations were based on risk, volume, potential for prevention and potential for cost savings.

The results from the survey were used to provide an epidemiological evidence base that informed the Scottish Government's HAI Task Force Delivery Plan for 2008–2011. The plan included deliverables relating to interventions to reduce HAI in priority areas, education for National Health Service staff, surveillance of HAI and antimicrobial prescribing and development of guidance and standards for priority areas.

The results from this epidemiological survey have been used to effectively prioritise and target national initiatives to prevent and control HAI in Scottish hospitals and to target incidence surveillance programmes to priority areas. A second national survey will be carried out at the end of 2011 and will inform future strategies and policy.

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