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Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Surveillance

The Welsh Surgical Site Infection (SSI) surveillance programme was set up in 2003 to estimate the risk of infection after surgery, specifically after hip and knee replacements. Expansion of the SSI programme in 2006 enabled SSIs to be determined after Caesarean section surgery. In 2018 a pilot was conducted to look at SSIs after colorectal procedures, but these infections are not yet monitored at a national level.


Data are collected on all elective (planned) and emergency procedures and for readmission / revision surgery (hip and knee procedures). Data collected includes demographic details of the patient, information around the procedure itself and care of the patient after surgery, including details on wound infections that develop, i.e. infections at the site where the skin has been opened to carry out the necessary operation. As part of the programme, we conduct analysis of the data, report on infection rates and trends for the mandatory procedures throughout Wales. The HARP team collaborates with the health boards in Wales to reduce the risk of patients developing an SSI.