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While steps have been taken to reduce infection rates of hospital bugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, other infection rates are still too high, the Nice said.
A spokeswoman said doctors and nurses must "redouble" hygiene efforts to bring the rates down.
– Professor Gillian Leng
It is unacceptable that infection rates are still so high within the NHS. Infections are a costly and avoidable burden. They hinder a patient's recovery, can make underlying conditions worse, and reduce quality of life.
Although there have been major improvements within the NHS in infection control, particularly in relation to Clostridium difficile and MRSA bloodstream infections in the last few years, healthcare associated infections are still a very real threat to patients, their families and carers and staff.
One in 16 people receiving NHS care are picking up infections, health officials have warned.
The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (Nice) says he level of infections are "unacceptably high" and are a "very real threat" to patients.
Every year around 300,000 people get an infection while being cared for by the health service in England.The most common type of infections include pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections and surgical site infections.
These infections can occur in otherwise healthy people, especially if invasive procedures or devices like catheters or vascular access devices, are used, Nice said.
NHS England has welcomed the changes to GP access and tailored care for elderly patients, announced by the government.
– Chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens
By freeing up hard working family doctors to spend more time with their sickest patients, and by making it easier for other patients to get through to their GP surgery for help and advice at evenings and weekends, these initiatives have the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their doctors and the NHS.
The Prime Minister has added to his bid to extend GP hours with plans to enhance care services for the elderly.
David Cameron said that around 800,000 people over the age of 75 and those with more serious health complaints will get tailored care, coordinated by just one local GP.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the move is "one of the biggest changes that we need to make in our NHS".
– Jeremy Hunt
I want to make sure this is completely coordinated to head off problems and keep people from going to hospital unnecessarily.
David Cameron's extensions to GP hours have been praised by NHS England, but a British Medical Association committee chair has said the changes must be properly supported.
NHS England CEO Simon Stevens said the initiative could also free up time for GPs to spend with their sickest patients, giving it "the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their doctors and the NHS".
But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee, said a more holistic approach was needed "so that community, social and urgent care work in tandem".
He also said ministers must "deliver on their commitment to increase resources in the community," so that GPs can be properly supported.
More than 7.5 million people will be able to see their GP outside work hours, David Cameron has announced.
The Prime Minister said that extended opening times, video-phone services, email and phone would all contribute to the increased access.
Although it was originally thought that only half a million people would benefit, the £50 million GP Access Fund will now affect over 1,000 practices across England.
Mr Cameron said that since announcing in October that he wanted to help make appointments more flexible, there had been "a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas".
The Welsh Government said they "expect waiting times for diagnostic tests to come down" after NHS statistics showed Wales was the worst-performing country in the UK in that area.
– Welsh Government spokeswoman
Despite the pressures on the NHS, access to diagnostic tests is improving.
However, the health minister Mark Drakeford acknowledges waits are still too long in some cases, and last month announced £5 million of new funding to help the NHS reduce waiting times for those scans and tests where there are particular challenges.
Speeding up access to these tests will mean that patients get the results faster and can start their full treatment sooner. We expect waiting times for diagnostic tests to come down.
Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman, said the figures showing that Wales has high waiting list times for life-saving tests highlighted "the stark reality of Labour's mismanagement of the NHS".
– Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman and Ceredigion Assembly Member Elin Jones
The Health Minister needs to take emergency action to bring down these waiting lists and help the thousands of people who are in limbo as they await a diagnosis. We need to make sure that the diagnostic machines are staffed for longer so that they can be used to their capacity.
This will need extra funding, but failure to do so would be condemning patients to wait even longer for basic tests.
Plaid Cymru has long advocated better planning within the NHS so we can plan ahead for the future workforce, keep waiting lists down and make the Welsh NHS the efficient service that it can be.