The Medical Technology Group has called on the Department of Health to develop a strategy for the use of technology in infection control.
In the report, entitled ‘Infection Prevention and Control- combating a problem that has not gone away’, rese chers found that 88% of trusts did not keep any records of the financial cost or operational impact of “healthcare acquired infections” and only 12% of trusts recorded the total number of common types of infection.
The MTG report says that trusts should be required to record the number of cases and associated deaths from infections like sepsis, catheter associated urinary tract infections, catheter related blood infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia and norovirus.
It adds that utililsing technology in order to do so, it important and calls on the government to do something about it.
“The government should develop a strategy for using technology for infection prevention and control, and engage with industry for solutions for this,” says the report.
“Better measurement of and prevention of healthcare acquired infections is vital, and medical technology is key to this.”
The MTG researchers surveyed 76 NHS trusts over a three month period between March and July this year through Freedom of Information requests.
One of the recommendations in the report is that trusts should receive” no financial reimbursement for readmissions and bed days relating to a healthcare-acquired infection that was acquired within the Trust itself.”
“This will end the situation where trusts financially benefit from health-acquired infections and better align financial incentives with the goal of lower infection rates,” says the report.
Barbara Harpham, chair of the MTG, said that because rates of infections such as MRSA and E.Coli has dropped in recent years, it could lead people to believe the problem has gone away.
“There is complacency across the NHS about other healthcare-acquired infections. At a time when anti-microbial resistance is growing and more resistant strains are coming through, this is ludicrous,” she said.
“We must also put an end to the perverse situation where NHS trusts are reimbursed when they treat patients who acquire an infection in that trust’s hospital. If trusts are hit financially, it will force them to take infection control more seriously.”
Last year, EHI reported that Neil Carmichael MP, secretary of the All Party Health Group at Westminster, called for the NHS to deploy technology in the battle against antibiotic resistance to get “the right drug for the right bug”.
The MTG report says that rather than overspend on “the overuse of antibiotics, there must be a real investment in preventing infections in the first place.”
MTG is a coalition of patient groups, research charities and medical device manufacturers working to “improve access to cost-effective medical technologies for everyone who needs them”.