Surgical site infection


Surgical site infection (SSI) can cause serious complications following surgery. As a result, the Scottish SSI surveillance programme was established in 2002 to estimate the risk of infection after specific procedures. Currently four surgical procedures are mandatory within SSI surveillance, these are:

  • hip arthroplasty
  • caesarean sections
  • large bowel
  • vascular procedures

As part of the programme we carry out analysis of the data and report trends in SSI for the mandatory procedures throughout Scotland, and work with NHS boards to reduce it. SSI surveillance for large bowel and vascular procedures only started in April 2017, so aren't currently included within the quarterly epidemiological commentary. To ensure sturdy data collection prior to the publication of the commentary we're working with NHS boards.


Annual reports

Download our Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (ARHAI) annual reports below:

Compendium of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI)

The HAI Compendium contains links to:

  • current national policy and guidance on HAI
  • antimicrobial prescribing and resistance
  • decontamination
  • other related topics

Data and surveillance

Quarterly epidemiological data commentaries

The commentaries contain quarterly epidemiological data by NHS board and nationally for Scotland jointly for:

  • Clostridioides difficile infection
  • Escherichia coli bacteraemia
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia
  • meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
  • meticillin susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
  • surgical site infection

Read the latest commentary on quarterly epidemiological data in Scotland:

View all previous quarterly epidemiological reports

Surveillance protocol

Read our SSI surveillance protocol 7th Edition

Educational resources

In collaboration with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) we’ve developed a range of educational resources to improve practice in diagnosis and reporting of SSI and understand the health implications for the patient.