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HAI report card published
Huge progress has been made in tackling hospital infections in the past three years - but there's still more that can, and must, be done.
That was the message from Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon as she published the Healthcare Associated Infection Task Force report for 2008-11.
The task force was set up to co-ordinate and monitor NHS Scotland's efforts to tackle rates of infections such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA, which are now at their lowest levels since surveillance began.
Among the initiatives highlighted in today's report are:
Tripling funding from £15 million to £54 million to support a more comprehensive delivery plan
Implementation of a National HAI Action Plan and Delivery Plan
Developing infection control standards that are used by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate for hospital inspections
Reducing prescribing of antibiotics associated with a higher risk of C.diff infection
Ms Sturgeon said:
"I made tackling hospital infections a priority as they were causing misery for too many and creating a climate of fear among people who needed hospital treatment.
"Today's report highlights just how far we have come - with rates of C.diff and MRSA now at an all time low - and showcases the initiatives that have delivered these impressive results.
"I believe that the progress we have made leaves Scotland well placed to deal with future challenges and new strains of infections as they arise.
"The watchword for everyone involved in delivering health services must be vigilance. If we are to continue to drive down infection rates then we cannot afford to let our guard down.
"Everyone involved in reducing infections is to be congratulated on their efforts but I am in no doubt that there is still more that can be done as we strive to embed quality in all aspects of patient care in Scotland."