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Healthcare Associated Infections


Healthcare Associated Infections are acquired by people during the course of receiving treatment within a healthcare setting whether in a hospital, community setting or care home.

Preventing and controlling Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) is a national priority for the Scottish Government.  The cost of HAI to NHSScotland is estimated in excess of £137Million per year and the point prevalence survey (2011) suggests that 1 in 20 people in an acute setting have an HAI. While these figures are improving many are considered avoidable and education plays a key role in making this happen.

NES are working hard to prevent the spread of infection in the NHS and care homes through educating staff on how to prevent and control infections.  We are making a significant contribution to the HAI agenda through a comprehensive range of continuing education programmes across all professions and disciplines, as well as contributing to the delivery of undergraduate curriculum with provision of resources for infection prevention and control and decontamination. 

There are a number of educational programmes,  short online modules and training resources covering infection prevention and control, decontamination and antimicrobial management.  There is strong alignment with the aims and ambitions of the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and Quality Improvement agenda using the tools, methodologies and common language to support implementation of learning.  There is strong alignment with Health Protection and Clinical Skills and NES has a number of educational resources available. 

The HAI team has a multi-disciplinary focus in the Prevention and Control of Infections and work with key service stakeholders including NHS Health Boards in Scotland, Health Protection Scotland (HPS), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), Health Facilities Scotland (HFS), Care Inspectorate, Scottish Care and Scottish Social Services Council.

Information and educational resources on ebola - viral haemorrhagic fever can be found on the public health ebola webpage.

An important element to the HAI work stream is implementing, embedding, sustaining and evaluating current educational resources to demonstrate the impact on practice and ensure delivery of safe, effective and person-centred services.  Examples of work in this area can be found on the Impact and Evaluation webpage. 

Compendium of HAI Guidance

The purpose of the HAI compendium is to provide NHS Scotland staff with all current HAI national policy, guidance and associated supporting materials e.g. checklists, care bundles, patient information leaflets and training scenarios. The Compendium can be downloaded from the HPS website.

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