Jane Kennedy: In July 2004, the Department issued Standards for Better Health", the first ever national standards for the national health service. The Healthcare Commission will be assessing and rating the NHS against these standards from 200506. Core standard four says that:
the risk of health care acquired infection to patients is reduced, with particular emphasis on high standards of hygiene and cleanliness, achieving year on year reductions in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus;
the prevention, segregation, handling, transport and disposal of waste is properly managed so as to minimise the risks to the health and safety of staff, patients, the public and the safety of the environment."