Healthcare associated infections (HAI) are an increasing problem worldwide and contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality in the hospital population. The first Scottish National HAI Prevalence Survey was carried out by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) between October 2005 and October 2006.
In addition to the work being undertaken in Scotland, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has developed a protocol for measuring the prevalence of healthcare associated infection and antimicrobial use in acute, specialist and independent hospitals. A Europe-wide prevalence survey took place in September/October 2011 and it is likely that a European survey will be carried out annually.
HPS was tasked by the Scottish Government to develop and implement a second national HAI prevalence survey and the decision was taken to adopt the ECDC protocol to enable European benchmarking of HAI and antimicrobial prescribing prevalence using a consistent approach. This document describes the protocol.