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Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Question for Department of Health

UIN 38667, tabled on 26 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what measures his Department is implementing to emphasise the importance of hand hygiene in the prevention of infection in hospitals.

Answered on

9 June 2016

Tackling healthcare associated infections is complex and requires a strong patient safety system that integrates cleanliness, infection prevention and control and antibiotic use. Hand hygiene is an important component and we continuously review and enhance national measures, systems and guidance. For example hand hygiene references in The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice for prevention and control of infections and related guidance, were strengthened when it was revised in 2015. It will also form part of forthcoming guidance on reducing Gram negative infections such as E. coli.

Auditing of hand hygiene is a local responsibility and information on hand hygiene compliance is not collected centrally. Therefore, no national assessment has been made of the potential links between hand hygiene compliance levels and the above infections.