A series of measures to tackle hospital infections have been set out by the Scottish Government.
Health minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs in Holyrood that three health boards – NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Grampian and Western Isles – will pilot a new screening programme for MRSA.
Tough new targets on hand hygiene and a three-year delivery plan on hospital acquired infections will run along side these, Ms Sturgeon said.
The minister said the three boards selected for the pilot cover a population of almost a million people and pledged a shared £7m of resources for 2008/09 for the trio.
“They represent a diverse mix of urban, rural and island areas and, of course, they include a range of hospitals from the very smallest to large teaching hospitals,” she said.
“The pilot will be an exhaustive test of the screening model and crucially these pilots will enable us to make informed decisions about the shape of the national programme that we intend to roll out from next year.”
The first ever Scottish Audit Report into hand hygiene compliance last December showed that it rose from 68% in the first audit of February 2007 to 79% in the second survey, which took place in September.
But the health secretary said: “79% compliance is in my view not nearly enough and I have therefore set all NHS boards the target to achieve at least 90% hand hygiene compliance by this November.”
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