Infection prevention and control: lessons from acute care in England (Towards a whole health economy approach)

4 Apr 2016 | Infection Prevention & Control

A new paper from The Health Foundation Infection prevention and control: lessons from acute care in England (Towards a whole health economy approach) reports what has been learned from the infection prevention and control (IPC) work carried out over the last 15 years in hospitals in England.

There have been reductions in MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bloodstream and Clostridium difficile infections, however, there are a growing number of new infections, including more resistant strains of bacteria which are in danger of spreading. As a result, the paper suggests IPC should remain central to the work of the NHS.

The paper presents findings of a large study which identified and consolidated published evidence about IPC intiatives. The researchers compared this with findings from qualitative studies in two large NHS hospitals, including the perspectives of consumers.

It looks at the lessons learned and outlines future directions for effective infection prevention and control.

  • Measures for infection prevention and control need to be appropriate and responsive.
  • Infection prevention and control should remain central to inspection and regulation.
  • All national-level campaigns require an explicit framework underpinning how the campaign is intended to work and must be accompanied by an evaluation strategy.
  • Hospitals must have the structural and cultural capacity to deliver effective infection prevention and control and antibiotic usage.
  • Trusts need to ensure that the goals for infection prevention and control and patient safety are integrated and aligned at the clinical front line.
  • Clinical and managerial leaders of infection prevention and control are needed at all levels in the organisation.
  • Define the role of the public before they become patients.
  • A whole health economy approach is needed for infection prevention and control in future.

Last updated 24/10/2021