Healthcare associated infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) can develop either as a direct result of healthcare interventions such as medical or surgical treatment, or from being in contact with a healthcare setting.

The term HCAI covers a wide range of infections. The most well-known include those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).

HCAIs pose a serious risk to patients, staff and visitors. They can incur significant costs for the NHS and cause significant morbidity to those infected. As a result, infection prevention and control is a key priority for the NHS.

Clostridium difficile infection objectives

Objectives for the number of Clostridium difficile infection cases reported are set nationally each year for each acute trust and CCG in order to support improvement (reduction) in the number of cases. For acute trusts, these objectives provide the point at which commissioners should consider imposing contractual sanctions.

Read more and view Clostridium difficile objectives and guidance.

A health economy approach to the detection, management and prevention of Clostridium difficile infection

The presentations delivered at the collaborative NHS England, Public Health England, Trust Development Authority, Royal College of Nursing and Infection Prevention Society event are available below.

The event shared the collective ambition for the future management of Clostridium difficile and promoted best practice across the whole health economy.

Infection Prevention and Control Commissioning Toolkit

Infection prevention and control is fundamental in  improving the safety and quality of care provided to patients. NHS England is pleased to support resources for providers and commissioners of health care that will help them to establish a health care associated infection reduction plan that reflects local and national priorities. This includes antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Not only do these resources ensure that services are provided safely, they also help commissioners to fulfil their obligations to drive improvement in services and will contribute to the further development of the nationwide work to combat AMR.

Version 2 of the joint Infection Prevention and Control Commissioning Toolkit is available