Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI)


An HAI is an infection you might catch when getting healthcare in hospitals, care homes, doctors’ surgeries, health centres or receiving care at home. The most common types of infection in hospitals are urine infections, infections after surgery (operations), skin infections, sickness and diarrhoea.


If you get an HAI, your treatment will depend on the type of infection you catch and your general health and may include being moved to a single room or getting extra medicine.

Care staff should follow the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) at all times which is the mandatory practice guide for NHSScotland and best practice in other care settings. This will reduce the risk of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) and ensure the safety of those being cared for, staff and visitors in the care environment.

Minimising the spread

Always use hand hygiene when visiting a care setting and do not visit if you are feeling unwell.

To ensure you do not spread infection if you are washing the clothes of someone in hospital or care home then you should follow the guidance in the washing clothes at home leaflet.

Further information can be found in the Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) leaflet.