More than 300,000 patients in England acquire healthcare-associated infections during their stay in hospitals, costing the National Health Service more than £1bn a year, according to a new report.

The Public Accounts Committee report examined the progress in reducing healthcare-associated infections in UK hospitals that can lead to symptoms ranging from minor discomfort to serious disability.

The report found there were 9,000 deaths in 2007 with Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Clostridium difficile infections as the underlying cause.

Though there have been significant reductions in MRSA bloodstream and C. difficile infections, other equally fatal infections, such as surgical site infections and pneumonias have increased, the report said.