However, the money has not been ringfenced for this.
A Department of Health spokesperson told NT: ‘It is inappropriate for us to dictate how trusts should spend their money but enough is there to employ more nurses if that is what is deemed necessary.’
Chief nursing officer for England Chris Beasley said she was confident that extra nursing posts would be created.
‘Trusts have told us they want to increase the number of infection control nurses. It seems inconceivable that people are not looking at their resource and seeing that it needs to be strengthened,’ she said.
‘Although we cannot micro-manage [trusts], we have put the resources in place and trusts’ expenditure will be being looked at,’ she added.
But Judy Potter, chairperson of the Infection Prevention Society, remained cautious. ‘The government has merely provided an example of how the money could be used. Where infection control is taken seriously, the need for extra investment in specialist nurses will be recognised,’ she said.
‘But in trusts known to have poor performance in relation to infection control, I am not convinced the money will be used in the right way. The situation will need to be closely monitored by strategic health authorities,’ she added.