For millions of people across the world the New Year brings an onslaught of resolutions and ambitions and the National Health Service is no exception.

Health Minister Simon Burns announced goals to reduce the numbers of MRSA bloodstream infections and C-Diff infections significantly by April 2013, building on the progress over the past year made by the NHS.

If the resolution is met, there will be a further 29% reduction in MRSA bloodstream infections and a further 18% reduction in Clostridium difficile infections - bringing annual numbers of MRSA bloodstream infections down to 880 and reducing Clostridium difficile infections from 19,754 to 16,100.

Health Minister Simon Burns said: "There has been great progress in reducing MRSA bloodstream and Clostridium difficile infections in some parts of the NHS, but we want everyone at the level of the best.

"This progress shows the impact that our drive for greater transparency and strict infection control measures can have to prevent avoidable infections and help provide a clean and safe environment for patients.

"But there is still more to do before we have achieved our objective of zero tolerance for all avoidable healthcare associated infections and it is vital that we continue to reduce variation across the country.

"That is why we have set each Trust their own objective - to drive further improvements, particularly in the organisations with the highest rates of MRSA bloodstream and C. difficile infections."

Preventing cross-contamination by washing hands with antibacterial soap from automatic soap dispensers and hand drying with towels from paper towel dispensers or automatic hand dryers to complete the process is essential in the fight against infection.

Recent statistics reveal that for the first time since mandatory surveillance began in 2001, MRSA bloodstream infections across the NHS have been sustained at under 100 reported cases per month for the last six months.

The resolution builds on the Prime Minister's commitment to focus on improving quality in the health service and ensure that every patient is cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean environment.