Foreword by Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care
I am pleased to introduce the Scottish Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) Strategy 2023 – 2025, which sets out our approach to supporting NHS Scotland to reduce HCAIs as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
HCAIs remain a concern for all of us, and their implications are clear. In addition to the impact infection has on the lives of the Scottish people who use our health service and their families, the recent ECONI study found that HCAIs result in longer hospital stays, increased healthcare costs, and additional overall pressures on health and social care resources.
This is why the Scottish Government takes the task of reducing HCAIs seriously. Since 2007, Scotland has seen significant and sustained progress in reducing HCAIs such as Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and Clostridioides difficile infection, to very low levels. Although it will never be possible for any hospital to eradicate and avoid all cases of infection, the Scottish Government will continue to work towards reducing the rates of HCAIs to as low a level as possible.
We continue to emphasise the importance of evidence-based Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programmes and practice, as well as the need for robust systems and surveillance to understand and reduce the incidence of HCAI, and to effectively manage incidents as they occur to stop onward transmission.
I am confident this strategy will play an essential role in improving the quality of care we provide, enhancing the overall health of our communities.
Sincerely, Michael Matheson Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care
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