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:

Caesarean birth

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.

Read more about this project.

Colorectal surgery

Supported by Health Innovation West of England, 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.

Contact us

For further information on either project or to get involved, please contact us.

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