HL Deb 17 February 2003 vol 644 cc155-6WA
Lord Morris of Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What statistics they have for the number and types of hospital infections in each of the past seven years for hospital staffs and patients respectively. [HL1313]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath):

National data on hospital infections are limited and it is for this reason that we are developing a new national compulsory surveillance system for healthcare associated infection. The first phase of this new surveillance system, on methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections, was introduced in April 2001. All acute trusts now collect this information and it is the first time that baseline data have been available. The results for the first year of this scheme (April 2001 to March 2002) for every National Health Service acute trust in England were published in the Communicable Disease Report (CDR) Weekly on 20 June 2002. These are available on the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) website www.phls.co.uk/publications/ccdr/PDFfiles/2002/cdr2502.pdf.

The second phase of compulsory surveillance will be introduced shortly and will collect information on other micro-organisms and incidents such as outbreaks of infection.

The PHLS has voluntary reporting systems for a range of pathogenic organisms but as these systems do not distinguish between cases acquired in hospital and those acquired elsewhere they cannot be used to look at trends in hospital acquired infection.

The PHLS also has a voluntary reporting system for gastro-enteritis that identifies outbreaks in hospital and a report General outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease (IID) in hospitals, England and Wales, 1992–2000 was published in the Journal of Hospital Infection (2003) 53: 1–5.

Information from the Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Service (NINSS) on hospital acquired bacteraemia and surgical site infections is available in the following reports: Surveillance of surgical site infection in English hospitals 1997–2001 NINSS PHLS 2002; Surveillance of hospital acquired bacteraemia in English hospitals 1997–2001 NINSS PHLS 2002. http://www.phls.co.uk/publications/ninss.htm

The PHLS collects and publishes data on occupational exposure to blood borne viruses. The results of the surveillance from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 2002 have been published on the PHLS website, http:// www.phls.co.uk/topics az/bbv/pdf/5year analysis.pdf A total of 1,550 intial reports of occupational exposures to one or more blood borne viruses were received. One case of seroconversion to HIV and three cases of seroconversion to hepatitis C (one reported retrospectively) have been reported so far.