People who spend time in UK hospitals undergoing surgery go on to suffer from infections far more frequently than is widely reported, new research on the subject has indicated.
De Montford University in Leicester has revealed in a new study that bugs often spiral out of control and affect patients who are recovering from a medical procedure. The university's paper was published by the Journal of Hospital Infection and is said to cast some doubt over just how hygienic the UK's hospitals really are.
The Department of Health is now being urged to tackle infection prevention as a priority, while it has also been advised to consider introducing a clear system for all hospitals to use in order to ascertain exactly how problematic certain infections are.
Lead researcher Professor Judith Tanner of the university said: "The national SSI surveillance system in England consistently under-reports the true scale of surgical infection and gives a false sense of security. This study shows there are so many inconsistencies that it's not possible to benchmark hospitals against the English national surgical site infection data."
Researchers from De Montford, Southport and Newcastle-upon-Tyne universities got in contact with 156 NHS hospital trusts in England and questioned them over how they collected and published data relating to infections suffered by patients following surgery.
One of the most common reasons given by hospitals for failing to submit data was flawed surveillance systems and a lack of trust in the methods in place.
Hospital bosses around the UK might be wise to consider investing in solutions such as the very latest cleaning products on the market, which can be used to wipe out many of the infections that sweep through medical institutions. Teaming this with enhanced training for staff can be a shrewd move.
If infections are proving to be more of an issue than many realise, it might be time for a new wave of cleaning to take over in UK hospitals.