Surgical Site Infection Audit

Surgical Site Infection Audit

Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) is a national clinician-led programme designed to improve the quality of medical care within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations. As part of this programme we have set up the Surgical Site Infection (SSI) Audit.

The audit has been established to:

  • Identify the surgical site infection rates of specific procedures within key surgical specialties
  • Assess local practice in the prevention of surgical site infection for the specified procedures

Doctors at varying stages of training to act as local trust leads in charge of data collection and submission for their specialty of interest. Only selected procedures for each specialty were included within the scope of the audit, these procedures were identified by the GIRFT clinical leads.  Approximately 100 procedures were surveyed in total across the 13 specialties. The survey requested data on both pre and post-surgical factors which may influence the incidence of surgical site infections.  Furthermore, it also requested data on each hospitals management of such infections when they occurred and sought to understand the consequences for patients who suffered SSIs.

The surgical site infection (SSI) audit surveyed the incidence of post-surgical infections during the 12 months from November 2016 to October 2017.  The audit response submission period has now closed and we have received responses from 84 providers.  The specialties included in the audit were:

  • Breast Surgery
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Cranial Neurosurgery
  • Ear Nose and Throat
  • General Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Paediatric Surgery
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

To learn more about the audit, you can access a recorded webinar (click here).

The briefing pack, data collection templates and supporting documents are available for download now on the right side of this page.


If you have any queries, please email:

Joint Clinical Lead: Professor Tim Briggs OBE

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, GIRFT Programme Chair, National Director for Clinical Quality and Efficiency for the NHS

Joint Clinical Lead: Junie Wong

GIRFT SSI Audit Lead and National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow NHS Improvement

Project Manager: Allison Beal