Zero tolerance to avoidable infections

Five-year strategic framework to control antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections.

The Scottish Government has set out its commitment to controlling healthcare associated infections and containing antimicrobial resistance.

The five-year strategic framework, published today, seeks to ensure the safety of patients, the public and all healthcare staff and to make hospitals and communities a safer place.

The prevention and control of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) remains an important issue for all environments where healthcare is delivered – for example, care homes, community pharmacies, and primary care – and for everyone involved in the delivery of care. 

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“Tackling antimicrobial resistance and reducing healthcare associated infections remains a key priority for this Government. Good progress has been made so far with the latest quarterly figures showing that, since 2007, MRSA rates have fallen by 90% and CDI rates for those aged 65 years and over have reduced by 88%.

“These significant reductions have only been possible due to the hard work, diligence and commitment of Scotland’s NHS staff and key stakeholders.

“Patients and the public deserve to have complete confidence in the cleanliness of Scottish hospitals and the quality of NHS services and I have made clear my expectation that all health boards must take cleanliness and infection control extremely seriously.

“Today’s publication of the 5 Year AMR/HAI Strategic Framework will inform government policy and will help key stakeholders and NHS Boards implement and deliver HAI and AMR policies consistently and reliably across the healthcare system so that we can continue to provide a culture that promotes the delivery of person-centred safe and effective care.” 


The Scottish Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (SARHAI) – 5 Year Strategic Framework (2016-2021) was commissioned by the Scottish Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (SARHAI) Strategy Group (formerly the Scottish HAI Task Force).

The overarching aims of the Strategic Framework are:

  • Containment of AMR and prevention of HAI;
  • Advance AMR and HAI scientific knowledge & innovation;
  • Improved AMR and HAI efficiency;
  • Transparency & accountability; and,
  • Improved workforce capacity for AMR and HAI.

The Strategic Framework has been published on the Scottish Government website:


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