Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI) Scotland is responsible for coordinating national surveillance, reporting healthcare associated infections and monitoring antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial prescribing.
Developing evidence-based infection prevention and control guidance for health and social care settings and providing expert advice to inform national policy and practice on hospital admission screening, antibiotic use and the built environment have been key to how we’re supporting Scotland’s COVID-19 response.
From the outset, ARHAI Scotland has provided the scientific evidence base that is so critical for developing evidence-based national COVID-19 policy and guidance.
In the early stages of the pandemic, ARHAI Scotland reacted swiftly to develop COVID-19 infection prevention and control guidance for health and social care settings, and provided expert advice to support the development of guidance for additional non-healthcare sectors.
Recognising the unique challenges posed by a pandemic, ARHAI Scotland has provided flexible and ongoing support for boards across Scotland that are managing COVID-19 incidents, and has developed a digital national surveillance system for monitoring healthcare-associated COVID-19 infections in real time.
In addition, antimicrobial resistance continues to be a threat during this global pandemic therefore ARHAI Scotland has been monitoring the number of antibiotic prescription items issued in Scotland on a weekly basis. The team is principally monitoring those antibiotics commonly used for treatment of respiratory tract infection – amoxicillin, doxycycline, clarithromycin, azithromycin and co-amoxiclav.
The onset of winter and the developing nature of the pandemic poses a new set of challenges. ARHAI Scotland continues to work closely with infection prevention and control colleagues to support the NHS and to help protect patients, families and communities across Scotland.
Discover more about the critical work of ARHAI Scotland.