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Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs)

A list of seven mandatory disease surveillance schemes have been introduced for all the Welsh NHS Trusts to implement.

The Welsh Government has established a range of targets and measures to help reduce HCAIs. NHS trusts set their own annual infection reduction targets, based on local risk assessments and Welsh Government setting Annual Operating Framework (AOF) targets.

All Trusts in Wales are required to have in place continuous national HCAI surveillance programmes that incorporate at least 95% of the target population over 1 year. The mandatory surveillance schemes are:

  1. Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections 
  2. Surveillance of the "top ten" bloodstream (bacteraemia) infections
  3. Clostridium difficile 
  4. Orthopaedic surgical site infection (SSI) 
  5. Caesarean section SSI 
  6. Hospital outbreaks 
  7. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Central Venous Catheter (CVC) related infections.

In addition, NHS Trusts manage their locally agreed HCAI reduction targets with support from the Welsh Government NHS Regional Offices using nationally agreed surveillance methodologies.

The Welsh Healthcare Associated Infection Programme Team (WHAIP) is responsible for managing the surveillance programme on HCAIs on behalf of the Welsh Government.  

Further details on the surveillance programmes undertaken in Wales can be found on WHAIP website: Surveillance programmes undertaken in Wales (external link)