The 'Surgical Site Infection Annual Report 2013', published today by Health Protection Scotland (HPS), highlights a levelling trend in the incidence of Surgical Site Infections (SSI) across NHSScotland.
SSI rates for all procedures remained stable in Scotland in 2013, except for large bowel surgery where there was a significant decrease.
Today's report is in line with recent figures showing a plateau in the rates of key healthcare associated infection (HAI) types between 2012 and 2013. The incidence of SSI during 2013 ranged from 0.10% for knee replacement surgery, to 11.54% for small bowel surgery.
Commenting on the report, Professor Jacqui Reilly, HPS Lead Consultant in Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI), said:
"Surgical site infections are one of the most common HAI types. They can have serious consequences for patients including pain, increased hospital stay and, in some cases, additional surgery.
"SSI rates are an important surgical outcome and results from the HPS surveillance programme are used by NHS boards, at a local level, to monitor, review and improve clinical practice and performance.
"We have seen significant declines in overall HAI rates in Scotland over the last decade. The recent levelling trend indicates that further changes in strategy are required to ensure we continue to make care safer in Scotland."
Looking ahead, HPS will work with NHS Education for Scotland to develop an online surveillance training module to help ensure consistency across NHS boards. We will also continue to support NHS boards in their efforts to drive additional improvement in surgical care to prevent surgical infections.
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Notes to the Editor