Three quarters of trusts are 'coasting' on healthcare-acquired infections and will require marked improvements in performance or risk an improvement notice from the Healthcare Commission, health minister Andy Burnham told a Health Hotel fringe meeting.

Three quarters of trusts are 'coasting' on healthcare-acquired infections and will require marked improvements in performance or risk an improvement notice from the Healthcare Commission, health minister Andy Burnham told a Health Hotel fringe meeting.

He said any 'dip' in HAIs problems across the NHS was caused by 'the quarter of trusts which are making progress, but the other three quarters are coasting'. He said the commission's new powers to issue improvement notices would act as a spur to action and the uptake of best practice on patient safety.

He also said he would like the National Patient Safety Agency to look at 'what kinds of measures' they could produce to 'make patient safety more meaningful to patients. I would not want anything that was too destabilising too soon but we should be prepared to look ahead.'

Mr Burnham said it had been vital for six-monthly reporting of figures to become quarterly because 'there is still far too much variability'.