Foreword by the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland
The HAI Task Force and the national stakeholder agencies that support it have made considerable progress in the last three years. The Task Force has provided strong leadership in directing a sustainable package of measures focused on reducing rates of infection. But we should never forget that every HAI statistic represents a negative patient care experience, and that delivery of safe and effective care must always be about reducing the risk of avoidable harm to patients and saving lives. That is why I am so encouraged by the falling rates of infection that have been consistently reported over the past three years, and by the fact that compliance with environmental cleaning standards and hand hygiene across NHS boards in Scotland are also now at an all-time high.
I too would like to use this opportunity to express my thanks to the HAI Task Force members for the leadership they continue to provide and to all healthcare staff working across all disciplines in NHSS for their continued commitment to ensuring high standards in the delivery of patient care.
NHSS will continue to face major challenges in tackling HAI in the coming years. That is why the HAI Task Force will build on its current programme in 2011 and beyond to ensure that we identify and respond to new and emerging threats, and that frontline healthcare staff are supported in their efforts to provide care which is empathetic, compassionate and clinically excellent.
The aim of the Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHSS is to deliver the highest quality healthcare services to the people of Scotland and to ensure that NHSS is recognised by the people of Scotland as being among the best in the world. For patients, this means increasing dignity, being given the opportunity to be partners in their own care and having the right to expect clean wards when in hospital. It also means that if a patient has an experience they do not feel was satisfactory, they will be able to make this known and see that it is being addressed.
Our shared ambition for the future will be to continue to build on the significant progress that has already been made to ensure that infection prevention and control remains at the heart of healthcare delivery and to demonstrate progress against that ambition through the daily interactions between healthcare teams, patients and relatives in providing the best possible standards of care.
Our shared commitment is to deliver caring and compassionate treatment and in doing so help to maintain public confidence in NHSS. By ensuring that healthcare associated infections continue to fall we will, in a very meaningful way, demonstrate progress against that commitment.
Chief Nursing Officer