Wales

Cardiff University study into hospital infections

A study is looking at why some hospitals are better at tackling infection than others.

Cardiff University Business School is spending three years examining why measures preventing illness and unnecessary deaths work better in some areas.

Study leader Prof Martin Kitchener said a big impact could be in how hospitals carried out safety procedures.

Researchers have been given a £330,000 grant to carry out the work.

Prof Kitchener said estimates were that 10% of NHS patients were harmed during hospital care.

"Along with the human costs, safety incidents are a drain on NHS resources costing an estimated £3.5bn a year in additional bed days and negligence claims," he said.

"This study will help establish, for the first time, the evidence we need to understand why we have differing outcomes for patients in different parts of Wales and help take action to address them."

Prof Kitchener said it was already known that, as a result of increased public awareness, patient safety was top of the public and political agenda, and as a consequence there had been a series of programmes to improve patient safety.

"However, we also know that outcomes are patchy as a result of the ways hospitals are structured, their culture and differing managerial priorities.

"This study will help establish, for the first time, the evidence we need to understand why we have differing outcomes for patients in different parts of Wales and help take action to address them."

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman welcomed the study, "which will be a useful contribution to the work already underway to improve quality and safety in the NHS in Wales".

He added: "Every day the NHS cares for thousands of patients safely, but health care can be complex and ever changing with new drugs and technologies so we need to be able to adapt and continuously improve in order to provide the best possible care to patients."

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