809 Can Government interventions contribute to a reduction in healthcare associated infection (HCAI)?

Sunday, March 21, 2010
Grand Hall (Hyatt Regency Atlanta)
CM Fry, Rn, RM , Department of Health, SE1 8UG, United Kingdom
Background: An assessment of the impact of introducing of a statutory Code of Practice on the prevention and control of HCAI to the National Health Service (NHS) in England and mandatory surveillance of Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemias and Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) combined with Government infection reduction targets.
Objective: (1) Has the introduction of the Code of Practice improved the infection prevention and control of infection in England? (2) Has mandatory surveillance and Government infection reduction targets reduced the incidence of MRSA bacteraemias and CDI?
Methods: NHS organisations have to declare whether they re fully compliant with the 9 criteria in the Code of Practice for the prevention and control of HCAI which expects these organisations to have systems in place for the prevention and control of infection, which includes leadership, management arrangements, design and maintenance of the environment and devices, application of evidence based protocols and education, training, information and communication.  These data are sent to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who adjudicates whether the NHS organisation can be fully registered or registered with conditions.  The CQC have the power to inspect NHS organisations and can suspend registration or issue financial penalties.
All acute hospitals are required to submit data on MRSA bacteraemias and CDI monthly to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), who publish these data on behalf of the Department of Health.  MRSA bacteraemias and CDI are both the subject of national Government infection reduction targets.  
Results: In October 2009, the CQC rated 15% of all NHS organisations as excellent, 47% good, 32% fair and 5% weak. In 2008 the ratings were 26%, 35%, 34% and 6% respectively.  The CQC also found that in 2009, 48 acute hospitals did not meet at least one of the three relevant standards relating to infection control, compared to 44 the previous year.
Since the introduction of the 50% infection reduction target for MRSA bacteraemias there has been a 62% decrease in the cases reported to the HPA.  Data for the previous year shows that these infections mainly affect the elderly, men (65% patients), those with predisposing morbidities and those undergoing medical procedures.  There has been a 50% reduction in the cases of CDI reported for all patients aged two years or over.  
Conclusions: The introduction of Government initiatives has had a positive impact on patient safety in respect to HCAI.  A reduction in the incidence of MRSA bacteraemias and CDI has been seen.  There has been continuous improvement in compliance to the Code of Practice on HCAI by the NHS across most sectors, although there has been a small increase in the number of acute hospitals failing to meet the expected standards in infection control