The record of NHS hospitals in fighting hospital acquired infection and so-called `superbugs’ will be independently inspected.
Both the new Commission for Health Improvement and the Audit Commission will be involved in hospital inspections, Health Minister John Denham has announced.
The two bodies will have a legal right to demand information on the level of hospital infection and, if they choose, to publish it.
The Government has also published its strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistant infections.
This aims to minimise the effects of bugs which are resistant to antibiotics – in addition to encouraging the use of better infection control arrangements to ensure infections don’t happen in the first place, rather than using antibiotics when they do.
Denham commented: “The levels of hospital acquired infection in the NHS are unacceptable.
“We know there are wide variations in the measures taken by different NHS Trusts to tackle the problem and we believe some are doing much better than others in tackling the problem.”