HAI standards: 2015

What is a standard?

A standard is a statement of an expected level of service which demonstrates delivery of person-centred, safe and effective health care, and promotes understanding, comparison and improvement of that care.

Standards can be used for national consistency and/or for local improvement.

Ensuring your hospital is safe and clean

Our healthcare associated infection standards will form an integral part of our current inspection programme to ensure that hospitals across Scotland are safe and clean.

Access the HEI section of our website for more information about our inspections and the work of the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate.

Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) standards

The prevention and control of infection throughout healthcare is everyone’s responsibility and is a major component in the drive towards a safer NHSScotland.

These standards supersede the NHSScotland Code of Practice for the Local Management of Hygiene and Healthcare Associated Infection and all previous HAI standards produced by Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s predecessor organisations.

Purpose and scope

This document specifies a minimum level of performance for healthcare associated infection control services and applies to all healthcare organisations and practitioners, including independent healthcare providers, and recognises the role of all patients, their representatives and the public.

They are aligned with the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (2013), and both documents are key for healthcare organisations to adhere to, to ensure robust HAI practice and policy.

The standards aim to support healthcare associated infection services in monitoring their performance and driving improvement across NHSScotland. Each standard details what patients and the public can expect of healthcare services in Scotland following implementation.

Standards overview

The sections below will give you an overview on each of the 9 standards we have developed in relation to Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) services.

Detailed information including the rationale and criteria for each standard can be found by downloading the full publication. 

The organisation demonstrates leadership and commitment to infection prevention and control to ensure a culture of continuous quality improvement throughout the organisation.

Education on infection prevention and control is provided and accessible to all healthcare teams to enable them to minimise infection risks that exist in care settings.
The organisation has effective communication systems and processes in place to enable continuity of care and infection prevention and control throughout the patient’s journey.
The organisation has a surveillance system to ensure a rapid response to HAI.
The organisation demonstrates effective antimicrobial stewardship.
The organisation demonstrates implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and control measures.
Systems and processes are in place to ensure the safe and effective use of invasive devices, for example, peripheral venous catheters, central venous catheters and urinary catheters.
The environment and equipment (including reusable medical devices used) are clean, maintained and safe for use. Infection risks associated with the built environment are minimised.
All equipment acquired (this being equipment that is procured, loaned, donated, in-house manufactured, or for use within a trial or research) for the care environment is safe for use.

Following publication of the new standards, NHSScotland’s Chief Nursing Officer told NHS boards that, by May 2015, the new standards should be adopted in line with their existing local governance processes. Healthcare Environment Inspectorate will begin inspecting against these standards from June 2015, to allow NHS boards time to implement them.

Consultation report

Following the publication of the draft standards in August 2014, we held a 4-week consultation period, gathering comments from variety of stakeholders.

The consultation feedback report which can be downloaded at the link above includes all comments received, together with our response and any subsequent amendments to the standards. All comments have been anonymised.

Published Date: 2 February 2015