Delivering Prudent Healthcare in Wales »Prudent healthcare principles ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatments to achieve mutually-agreed goals.Learn more »
Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
Primary school pupils from Wales are to be given the opportunity to write a personal message to the NATO world leaders about their hopes for the future.
- Minister visits North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority
- Superfast broadband rolling-out across Pembrokeshire
Featured Article »Landmark Social Services law receives Royal Assent
- Postcards from the children of Wales to NATO world leaders
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- Extending access to intermediary services for descendants and relatives of adopted people
- Renting Homes – Illustrative Model Contract
- Registration fees for the education workforce in Wales
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
- The Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020
- Active Travel Action Plan
Featured consultation »Draft Technical Advice Note 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies
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Section highlightThe Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill
The Bill aims to improve the Public Sector response in Wales to gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - June 2014
Our pipeline provides visibility of infrastructure investment activity across Wales.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
Healthcare associated infections
This section deals with healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and includes information on some of the most frequently asked questions.
Patients enter hospital either because they are ill or because they require surgery. Both illness and surgery have a direct effect on the immune system and therefore such patients are at an increased risk from infection.
What is a healthcare associated infection?
Healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) refers to infections that occur as a result of contact with the healthcare system in its widest sense - from care provided in your own home, to general practice, nursing home care and care in acute hospitals. The term has recently been coined in recognition that increasingly complex procedures are undertaken outside hospitals. Previously, when most complex healthcare was hospital based, the term hospital acquired infection was used.
What does the term hospital-acquired infection mean?
Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) (also known as nosocomial infection) has a strict definition. It refers to an infection that develops in a patient 48 hours or more after admission to a hospital. Infections that occur within the first 48 hours are considered to have been picked up in the community and were incubating prior to admission. These are then referred to as community acquired infections.
The majority of healthcare acquired infections are acquired from patients’ own micro flora. Indeed, Staphylococcus Aureus is found on the skin or in the noses of approximately 30% of people. Some strains of Staphylococcus Aureus have developed resistance to antibiotics. The most common strain is Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). In the majority of patients, MRSA will not cause a problem because it is part of the normal flora residing on the skin.
Healthcare Associated Infections – A Strategy for Hospitals in Wales
The first Welsh Government strategy for tackling HCAIs was published in 2004. The strategy was developed to support the reduction of healthcare associated infections in Wales and to emphasise the responsibilities of all health care workers in reducing these infections.
We are now intending to refresh the strategy in response to the Wales audit report and Assembly audit committee report.
The Wales Audit Office published their ‘Minimising Healthcare Associated Infections in NHS Trusts in Wales’ report on the 8 November 2007. The report described the current position in NHS Trusts in terms of healthcare associated infection rates and the steps that the Trusts have put in place to manage the risk of infection. The report included a number of recommendations for NHS Trusts, the Assembly Government and other stakeholders to consider to continue reducing the rates of healthcare associated infections in Welsh hospitals.
The Wales Office report was scrutinised by the Welsh Government Audit Committee on the 7 February 2008. Following its evidence session, the National Assembly for Wales Audit Committee presented its own report to the Welsh Assembly Government on 7 May 2008.
The Health and Social Services Minister responded to the Audit Committee’s report on the 17 June 2008 and accepted the recommendations of the Wales Audit Office and Audit Committee reports.