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ARHAI publishes its latest annual report

ARHAI publishes its latest annual report.

Published on 19 September 2023

Antimicrobial Resistance & Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland has today (19 September) published its fourteenth annual report- the second since NHS Scotland Assure launched in 2021. This latest report provides a measured overview of the continued work taking place across NHSScotland in the implementation and delivery of work to reduce the burden of infection and microbial resistance within Scottish health and social care settings.

Some key headlines from the latest annual report:

• Continued collaboration with NES, to grow a library of educational resources facilitating the translation of IPC guidance, supporting the Scottish health and care workforce, including those with a focus on the healthcare built environment

• Providing valuable subject matter expertise to shape and contribute to the NHS Assure, national KSAR review process in relation to IPC and infection risk during all stages of the building lifecycle

• The reduction in the annual incidence of healthcare associated Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) and Escherichia coli bacteraemias (ECB) which have decreased between 2021 and 2022

• Launching a further chapter in the National Infection Prevention Control Manual (NIPCM), covering IPC in the built environment and decontamination, and the evidence reviews and tools to support reduction in infection risk.

The report also represents the continued support of ARHAI Scotland in the remobilisation of NHS Scotland during 2022. It includes the phased move from dedicated winter respiratory IPC back to Standard Infection Control Precautions and Transmission Based Precautions as well as a number of mandatory HCAI surveillance programmes that were restarted in October 2022 following a pause to support the response during the early stages of the pandemic.

Laura Imrie, ARHAI Clinical Lead, comments, “Our annual report is testament to a wide, diverse, and important portfolio of work that ultimately underpins guidance that protects patients from being harmed by avoidable infections within healthcare settings.”

She continues, “Our teams work right across the health and social care system, engaging and collaborating with key delivery partners including NHS boards, care providers and other national bodies as commissioned by the Scottish Government. This year’s report demonstrates in practice, the ongoing shared aims and commitments to partnership working across the system. We would like to thank all partners for their continued work and efforts in working to keep our healthcare settings safe.”

In addition to this latest report, the annual Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance (SONAAR) report from ARHAI will be published in November, providing information on antibiotic use and resistance to antibiotics in humans and animals.