Healthcare-associated infections

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Healthcare-associated infections are a major concern to patients and the public as a result of both high rates of infection across the NHS, and media coverage of outbreaks at individual hospitals.

The government has put in place a range of policies designed to reduce healthcare-associated infections in NHS organisations in England (with a similar priority being given in Scotland and Wales).

This briefing provides some background on the infections that give most concern, their causes, prevalence and impact.

It also summarises the policies and strategies being deployed in England to reduce infections, and offers some analysis of their likely effectiveness.