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Health: C. Difficile
House of Lords
Written answers and statements, 29 November 2010 Next answer »
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All Written Answers on 29 Nov 2010
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Lord Beecham (Labour)
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the goal to reduce Clostridium difficile infections from April 2011 will be measured and progress monitored; how the infection rates are currently monitored in establishments for the elderly; and whether the new goal will apply to such institutions.
Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 29 November 2010, c406W)Email me when Earl Howe speaksMost recent appearancesNumerologyFull profile ...
Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Quality), Health; Conservative)
Details on the level of ambition we will set from April 2011 for the National Health Service to reduce the level of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections and how progress will be monitored will be confirmed next month. We propose to set an objective for each NHS organisation who based on its historical performance, with the largest challenge set in those with the highest rates of infection and, therefore, with the capacity to make the most significant progress.
The C. difficile objective for 2011-12 will be measured using data reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on the number of C. difficile infections each month. Before the start of 2011-12, organisations will produce plans on how they will deliver the annual objective throughout the course of the year. In-year progress towards delivering the annual objective will be measured by comparing performance against these plans. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) will observe organisational performance and, in turn, the department will hold SHAs to account for performance management of organisations towards delivering their individual objectives.
In terms of infections within care homes, we are committed to ensuring that the objective reflects the need for a whole economy approach to be undertaken in order to reduce these infections, recognising that action needs to be taken in the hospital and outside of it.
We will do this by making primary care organisations (PCOs) responsible for all C. difficile infections within their locality from whatever source they come, including those in care homes.
Currently, PCOs and other organisations, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), use data from the HPA mandatory surveillance system to support them in ensuring effective infection prevention and control measures are being operated within all providers of health and social care services. The mandatory surveillance system receives information on all C. difficile infections from laboratories and includes cases from all settings, including those occurring in care homes.
It is important to note that the C. difficile objective is not the only means to ensure effective infection prevention and control within care homes. From October this year, the social care sector became subject to the requirements of the code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections against which the CQC assess compliance.
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