Active Projects

Healthcare facilities: The environment and users’ behaviour, and how these relate to the acquisition of hospital acquired infection

HaCIRIC runs a multidisciplinary research programme on controlling healthcare associated infections (HCAI) such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile. The cost of HCAI to the NHS in 2000 was estimated to be as high as £1 billion a year, with potential avoidable costs of around £150 million annually. Estimates suggest that at any one time 9 per cent of all inpatients have an infection associated with their care in hospital.

Project Facts

Start date: June 2007
End date: June 2009
Investigators Professor Colin Gray, Prof. Nigel Klein, Dr. Vanya Gant
Staff Employed Hede Wojgani, Elaine Green, Statistician
Status Active

Project Partners

  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Institute of Child Health UCL

Project Partners

School of Construction Management and Engineering
The University of Reading
PO Box 219
T: +44 (0)118 378 7181
E: h.wojgani(at)reading(dot)ac(dot)uk

This project tests the hypothesis that the physical design of healthcare facilities influences user behaviour and that such behaviour might promote or mitigate against the spread of healthcare acquired infection.

The research identifies the contribution – if any – of people’s movement to the spread/cross contamination of spaces. The project will also integrate its findings with other studies to provide a holistic view of this complex area.

It is unfortunate that Britain has invested in a major hospital building programme while knowing too little about how the built environment impacts on infection control.

Dr Vanya Gant
Consultant in Microbiology and Infection at UCLH.