Surgical site infection (SSI) refers to wound infections following invasive surgical procedures. SSI constitutes a major healthcare burden accounting for 14.5% of all hospital acquired infections in the UK and an estimated 34-226% increase in associated costs. Post-surgery infections can cause significant harm to patients and result in increased hospital stay, readmissions and re-operations. They are also a significant cost to the NHS.
Read more about the two West of England projects focused on reducing SSI:
We are working with six acute hospitals and maternity units on PreCiSSion (Preventing Caesarean Birth Surgical Site Infection across a region). Caesarean birth is one of the most common procedures, with an SSI rate of approximately 16% being reported nationally. However, as reporting is not covered by national surveillance, most hospitals do not know their caesarean birth-related SSI rates. Data gathered over two years from some acute trusts in the West of England showed SSI rates after caesarean births of 12-15%.
With over 10,000 caesarean births carried out across the region’s maternity units each year, if the estimated average SSI rate of 15% was reduced by 30%, this would equate to circa 450 SSIs being prevented (in the West of England) each year.
Supported by the West of England AHSN, PreciSSIon (Preventing Surgical Site Infection across a region) was a collaboration between acute trusts in the West of England during 2019-2021, which halved surgical site infections (SSI) after elective colorectal surgery. Hospitals measured 30-day patient-reported SSI and implemented a 4-point evidence-based care bundle which, by March 2021, had led to approximately 115 patients saved from a SSI, with an estimated regional cost saving of £566,720.
The PreciSSIon project won a HSJ Patient Safety Award for Infection Prevention and Control and a BMJ Award for Quality Improvement Team of the Year. Read more and access implementation resources.
For further information on either project or to get involved, please contact us.
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