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GIRFT Surgical Site Infection Audit – Register by 1 May 2017 to participate

27 April 2017

The national Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, sponsored by NHS Improvement and supported by its partners across the wider NHS in England, is establishing, from 8 May 2017, a new audit of patients with surgical site infections (SSIs), particularly examining their care peri- and post-operatively. This audit has the support of Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Improvement and Public Health England and focuses on some specific procedures within ophthalmology and 12 other key surgical specialties which are participants in the GIRFT programme.

It has become clear from the GIRFT data mining and trust reviews that in many cases Trusts and surgeons are not aware of the infection rates for their speciality. A prospective and retrospective collection is planned. The prospective data collection has been designed to be a task delegated from 8 May 2017 – 31 October 2017 to doctors in training working within the surgical specialties concerned, as part of their supervised training; with data presented monthly at Trust level to colleagues within each specialty through local clinical governance and surveillance meetings. The clinicians concerned will also be asked to undertake a retrospective review of SSIs from 1 November 2016 – 7 May 2017. Participating trainees will be given certificates of participation and the opportunity to present at the annual NHS Improvement Operational Productivity Directorate meeting held for Medical Directors.

The specific surgical interventions involved have been identified by the clinical leads of the GIRFT programme as most likely to drive improvement effort by senior clinicians to reduce SSIs. In ophthalmology, the selection of the audit questions has been guided by Professor Carrie MacEwen and Miss Alison Davies, GIRFT Co-Clinical Leads and Miss Lydia Chang, GIRFT Clinical Advisor. The intention is for clinicians to examine SSIs per surgical team and whether key aspects of good practice in SSI prevention are being followed during the whole admission episode up until discharge.

This audit-based initiative to encourage the scrutiny of SSIs and their causes is intended to be introduced without prejudice to and without interfering with the complementary collection and publication of surveillance data on SSIs undertaken by Public Health England, which serves a different purpose. It is likely that collection of this data will become compulsory for all trusts as part of the solutions being developed from the GIRFT programme, with data inputted into the dashboards for each speciality and hosted by model hospital.

Doctors in training across England have been invited to register their interest in participating in this audit via

Registration ends 1 May 2017.

For any enquiries, please email