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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Health care associated infections (HCAIs)

HCAIs are infections acquired as a result of healthcare interventions. Infections caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) and Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have previously been considered to be the most common, however great results have been achieved in reducing the levels of MRSA and C. difficile over the last five years. C.difficile is a bacteria that lives naturally, causing no harm in the guts of many people. However infection can occur when some antibiotics remove the 'good bacteria' in the gut that protect against C.difficile infection affecting the digestive system, causing diarrhoea, fever and painful abdominal cramps - and sometimes more serious complications. Therefore people on these antibiotics are at greater risk. 

MRSA is a bacteria often carried on the skin and inside the nose and throat causing no harm to healthy people.  However if it gets into a break in the skin, the lungs or the bladder it can cause serious infection including blood poisoning. Selecting the right antibiotics to treat an MRSA infection is very important as there are several which are not affective against MRSA.

We have a zero tolerance policy to avoidable infection and are working towards reducing C.difficile and blood stream infections caused by MRSA further.; part of this process is to set improvement targets. If the number of actual cases is greater than the target then we have not improved enough. The table below shows the number of infections we have had this month, plus the improvement target and results for the year to date (YTD):




This month: March



Improvement target (year to date)



Actual to date



Read more about Infection Prevention and Control at WUTH here.