This section aims to give a brief overview of HAI surveillance and to clarify the
In 2001, the Scottish Executive released a Health Department Letter, HDL(2001)57, requiring the mandatory implementation of surveillance
In 2006, a revised framework for National Surveillance of Healthcare Associated
Infection in Scotland specified in HDL(2006)38, added mandatory surveillance of the
National HAI Steering Group directs the SSHAIP
team's activities and since the team was established several further voluntary surveillance
programmes have been developed under the steering groups guidance. These projects
include surveillance of
View the National HAI Steering Group Tterms of Reference
Why do surveillance of HAI?
It is thought that 9% of people who are in-patients develop a HAI. This has serious
implications for morbidity and mortality and the costs of treatment associated with
Surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation
of health data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public
health practice, closely integrated with the timely dissemination of these data
to those who need to know. The final link of the surveillance chain is the application
of these data to prevention and control (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What are the objectives of HAI surveillance?
- Monitor the incidence of infection
- Provide early warning and investigation of problems and subsequent planning and
intervention to control
- Monitor trends, including the detection of outbreaks
- Examine the impact of interventions
- Gain information on the quality of care
- Prioritise the allocation of resources
What is the role of HPS?
The national system is based on central-local collaboration between HPS and NHS
- HPS facilitates, supports and co-ordinates the local surveillance in NHS Boards
- HPS collates data at national level on behalf of SEHD
- HPS compiles national reports
- HPS helps to disseminate good practice
Who will carry out the surveillance?
Local Infection Control Teams are responsible for implementation of surveillance
with the close collaboration, involvement and participation of other relevant groups
What should NHS Boards be doing?
NHS Boards should ensure that the necessary resources are available to support the
surveillance programme. Infection Control Teams and senior managers should agree
with clinicians those procedures which are a priority for surveillance and identify
which personnel will be responsible for data collection.
How will data be collected? Can we manage our own data?
How can HPS help?
To enable national surveillance, minimum datasets are required, their collection
is based on the use of standardised definitions and methodology. Protocols including all of this information are available online or from
the SSHAIP team at HPS.
Infection control teams and their collaborators will make decisions on how the data
should be collected and managed, given the resources that are available to them.
HPS can provide the appropriate level of help requested by trusts, ranging from
comprehensive support in the design and production of data collection forms and
with data entry and analysis, to receiving the Boards minimum data sets for inclusion
in the national data set. The SSHAIP team can also provide training sessions in
all of these areas.
Who has access to the results?
Individual NHS Boards results will be returned to NHS Boards with the aim of evaluating
performance within the Clinical Governance agenda.
National reports will be published in the HPS Weekly
Report and in the relevant sections of this website.
Who can I contact for further information?
Abigail Mullings will be happy to provide further information and Sonja Millar should be contacted, in the first instance, for any SSHAIP