HEALTH – HOSPITAL-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS – 19 November 2013
Dr Julian Lewis: Will the package of reforms and the greater accountability put into effect as a result of the Mid Staffs tragedy have any bearing on other areas such as the all-too-prevalent cases of people being injured or even dying as a result of hospital-acquired infections?
[The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Jeremy Hunt): Absolutely, because this is a package designed to deal with all avoidable harm, and hospital-acquired infections are an avoidable harm. It is designed not only to have much more transparency on the levels of harm in our hospitals, but to make sure that there is a culture of openness so that when people spot things that are going wrong, it is in their interests and in those of their hospital that they speak out. The changes are likely to result in – my hon. Friend will be the first to notice this – an increase in the amount of reported harm over the next few months. That will not be a bad thing, because it will mean that hospitals will be reporting harm that up until now they have not reported. We should welcome the fact that that will then mean that this harm will be addressed.]