The importance of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) as a cause of preventable illness and death has been recognised increasingly in recent years, and the prevention and control of these infections has become a priority.
Surveillance or monitoring of these infections is key to their control: we need to be able to measure them if we are to assess whether any impact has been made on controlling infection. Many hospitals in the country have participated in voluntary surveillance of key infections for many years. However, as part of the increased focus on control of HCAIs, surveillance of some infections was made mandatory. This started off in the NHS with Staphylococcus aureus including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia in April 2001 and was later extended to glycopeptide resistant enterococcal (GRE) bacteraemia in October 2003, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in January 2004, meticillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) bacteraemia in January 2011 and Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteraemia in June 2011.
MRSA bacteraemia: NHS Acute Trust results (April 2006 onwards*) and Primary Care Organisation results (April 2008 onwards).
MSSA bacteraemia: NHS Acute Trust and Primary Care Organisation. January 2011 onwards.
GRE bacteraemia tables: NHS Acute Trust reports by year. October 2003 onwards.
Quarterly Epidemiological Commentaries: Trends in MRSA bacteraemia and C. difficile infection.
*Archive data for earlier time periods (from the start of mandatory reporting for each organism) are available separately on the same page.
Last reviewed: 2 November 2011