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New guidance published by nursing infection control experts

Healthcare organisations should use a series of indicators to support performance management of infection prevention and control, according to updated guidance.

The Infection Prevention and Control Commissioning Toolkit has been jointly published this month by the Royal College of Nursing and the Infection Prevention Society.

It is intended to provide an overarching framework to support commissioning and provider organisations in England to meet the challenge of reducing healthcare associated infections.

The toolkit has been revised following the reforms made to the NHS in England and the transition to a new commissioning structure in April 2013, said the IPS and the RCN.

Aimed at all those involved in infection prevention and control commissioning, the guidance sets out the structures, objectives, and monitoring arrangements to reduce HCAIs and ensure they are sustainable.

The toolkit includes national mandatory indicators, and a “basket” of indicators to consider for inclusion in local commissioning contracts.

The two mandatory objectives are the continued zero tolerance of MRSA blood stream infection and an ongoing focus on reducing Clostridium difficile infections.

Rose Gallagher, the RCN’s nursing adviser for infection prevention and control, said: “Infection prevention and control is an issue that goes to the heart of safe, effective care.

Rose Gallagher

Rose Gallagher

“The infection control commissioning landscape has altered quite considerably over the past few years, which is why the RCN and IPS have worked to update this guidance,” she said.

“It is crucial that healthcare organisations make sure they are working as effectively as possible to promote infection prevention and control and to reduce HCAIs,” she added.

Mike Durkin, director of patient safety at NHS England, said he was pleased to support resources like the updated guidance.

“Infection prevention and control is fundamental in improving the safety and quality of care provided to patients,” he said.

He called on commissioners to use the toolkit to “work closely” with infection prevention and control teams “to enable an understanding of local priorities” for reductions in HCAI and improvements in patient safety.

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