FEWER patients are catching infections following operations in Scotland, according to a new report.

The proportion of people who suffer an infection in their surgical wound fell to 0.25 per cent for caesarean sections and 0.24 per cent for hip replacements last year.

This represents a significant drop since 2009, but experts say the pace of improvement has begun to plateau and fresh approaches are needed to make surgery safer still.

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Professor Jacqui Reilly, lead consultant in Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) for surveillance agency Health Protection Scotland (HPS), said: "We have seen significant declines in overall HAI rates in Scotland over the last decade. The recent levelling trend indicates that further changes in strategy are required to ensure we continue to make care safer in Scotland."

The new report was published yesterday.