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A timely debate on data collection

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 46, PAGE NO: 47

Martyn Case, BNurs, RN, CertEd(FE), is infection control nurse, Weston Area Health Trust, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, and the conference coordinator of the ICNA mail: info@profileproductions.com

The title of this years' infection control conference, organised by the Infection Control Nurses' Association, is Time to deliver: putting infection control into practice. This reflects the need to start improving our systems and processes to achieve reductions in the incidence of health care-associated infections, and preventing and controlling infections in the community.

The title of this years' infection control conference, organised by the Infection Control Nurses' Association, is Time to deliver: putting infection control into practice. This reflects the need to start improving our systems and processes to achieve reductions in the incidence of health care-associated infections, and preventing and controlling infections in the community.

Some infection control teams are already achieving this, and the value of effective infection control programmes is being demonstrated. In order to underline the value of infection control in practice, hospital infection control teams need better methods of collecting data on the incidence of infections. The type of surveillance data - who collects it and how - remains variable.

No manager can function effectively without good accurate information. The data collected also has to be fed back to clinical and support staff delivering the frontline care, for it to be meaningful and acted upon. Therefore an important debate is being held at the conference on the surveillance of health care-associated infections.

Dr Pat Troop, deputy chief medical officer at the Department of Health, will give a overview of the chief medical officer's report, Getting Ahead of the Curve. This infectious disease strategy for England will have major implications for the prevention and control of infection both in the community and in hospital.

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