Press Release

Minister acknowledges work done to control the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs)

The Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly T.D. today (8th March, 2012) acknowledged the work that the HSE has done to control the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs). Speaking in relation to the results of the second set of Hand Hygiene Audits published by the HSE today, the Minister said that Ireland has made encouraging progress in the fight against some HCAIs such as MRSA and hand hygiene has been a significant focus of the HSE’s initiatives in this area.

The previous hand hygiene compliance audit in June 2011 showed an overall compliance rate of 74.7% which was just under the target of 75% set by the HSE for 2011. Autumn’s compliance rate of 79.6 % is a 5% increase on June’s results and is above the HSE’s target for 2011.

While acknowledging that there is no room for complacency, the Minister said “it was heartening to see that the hand hygiene compliance rates had increased across all the different categories of healthcare workers which demonstrates the effectiveness of the HSE’s education and training initiatives on hand hygiene.“ The Minister added that the HSE is to be commended for its work in this area and he notes and is fully supportive of the work it is doing to improve hand hygiene compliance. Minister Reilly concluded that he remains confident that the HSE’s target of achieving greater than 90% compliance with hand hygiene by 2013 will be achieved.