The continued challenge of Healthcare Associated Infections & Antimicrobial Resistance

Today, a report by Health Protection Scotland (HPS), shows there is still much work to be done in the fight against Healthcare Associaed Infections (HAI). Although some infection rates are decreasing (for example, surgical site infections (SSI) after caesarean section) others such as those in Intensive Care Units, Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections have remained stable.

The report also highlights the internationally recognised risk of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Incidence rate of E. coli bacteraemias (infections), in patients aged 65 years and above, increased significantly in the last year. E. coli antimicrobial resistance to third generation antimicrobials – cephalosporins, carbapenems and nitrofurantoin also increased significantly in the last year.

Professor Jacqui Reilly, HPS Lead Consultant in HAI and AMR and also a member of the SHIP research group at GCU said, “HPS, alongside colleagues throughout NHSScotland, continues to focus on preventing HAI, whilst some improvements have been seen in selected SSI there remains a burden of HAI requiring further reduction. The threat of antimicrobial resistance worldwide, pointed to within this report, means that we should continue to focus our prevention efforts to this end. The intelligence gathered over the last year, from the work led by HPS, is being used to prevent these avoidable infections in healthcare, saving resources, and crucially, delivering better healthcare for patients.”

This report highlights the importance of the work of the SHIP research group in exploring effective ways of preventing avoidable infections.

The full report, “Healthcare Associated Infection Annual Report 2014” can be accessed at:


Exciting new partnership working

The SHIP team at GCU are hugely excited to be part of SHAIPI (The Scottish Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Institute).

This is a new consortium which included Glasgow Caledonian, Glasgow, Strathclyde, St Andrews and Dundee Universities in partnership with clinicians and NHS Stakeholders. It has been awarded a £4,249,749 grant from the Chief Scientist’s Office/Scottish Infection Research Network to develop into an internationally recognised institute of excellence in HAI research. This development will provide a virtual hub of 3 complementary work streams: molecular epidemiology, informatics and applied infection prevention and control research over an initial 5 year period, contributing to an inter related programme of activities of: research, capacity building, education and practice with the aim of reducing HAI.

The SHIP team at GCU will lead the applied infection prevention and control workstream, generating income of £1 million to GCU over the next 5 years and resulting in new research posts and funded PhDs for GCU.

Below is a photo of the cabinet secretary visiting the consortium. More information can be found on the SHAIPI website or from the individual partners.

IMG_3066 (3)


Safe Hands

Well, Tuesday was the World Health Organisations’s global day for action on hand hygiene in health care and we got very involved here at Glasgow Caledonian University.

We had a display in the main foyer of the health building on campus to showcase the research we have carried out in this field and to teach the 6 step hand hygiene technique to passers-by. They then got to test their “performance” with the glow box and were then asked to “bin a bug” from the big hand (see photo below). However, most of them didn’t want to bin our pom pom friends and instead took them home.

We also got to show off our official Guinness World Record Certificate and got loads of selfies with the WHO Twitter hashtag, #safeHANDS -go to our Twitter account to see the photos @SHIPGCU

01de41b2fa289b7d48a3612187ee59de4485c8c3f2 014d2e8e04f12daa769eea14844257b37774dfd562