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Win two tickets to this year's IPS conference!


Just answer this simple question for your chance to attend IPS’s annual conference in Glasgow* (worth £599 each)

Infection control is everybody’s business, so have you made it yours?

Have you heard of the Infection Prevention Society?  More commonly known as IPS, this Society is a charity providing specialist advice in all things related to infection prevention and control. Membership is made up of healthcare professionals either working in infection prevention or those who have an interest in it. The Society offers student membership at only £20 per year, with the aim of engaging those entering the field of healthcare to be more informed about protecting people from infections and avoidable harm.

One of the highlights of the Society’s year is the annual IPS conference.  For 2014, the Society is offering one student the opportunity to win a free place to this exciting and informative three-day event, by answering the simple question printed at the bottom of this article.

The 2014 conference is being held from 29th September – 1st October at the SECC in Glasgow and costs £599 to attend.  You can find out plenty of information about the conference by visiting Last year the conference attracted nearly 600 healthcare professionals and had 93 exhibitors making it the largest infection prevention and control exhibition in the UK, and with the programme tailored to attract a wide audience there really is something for everyone.

This year the programme is especially attractive to students as there is an educational stream on the Monday entitled ‘Introduction to Infection Prevention’ for those new to, or interested in the specialty. This stream will provide foundation information on the essentials of infection prevention, educating and encouraging the next generation of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) specialists. This half-day stream will cover the following subjects:

  • the basics of microbiology and immunology by Professor Shaheen Mehtar
  • an explanation of the EPIC3 infection prevention guidelines, issued in 2013, by Professor Heather Loveday who led the group that wrote the guidelines
  • an overview of the basics of decontamination by Christina Bradley
  • a practical guide on how to assess the content of scientific presentations/posters by Dr Jon Otter.

As well as this targeted stream that is unique to these types of conferences, the three-day event will also cover other areas such as:

  • Surgical Site Infection
  • Clostridium Difficile
  • How and why healthcare workers use gloves
  • Infection prevention in schools, nurseries and prisons.

Key Speakers presenting at IPS 2014

On the morning of Monday 29th September Dr Evonne Curran, Nurse Consultant Infection Control at Health Protection Scotland will be delivering the EM Cottrell Lecture on “The times they are a changing”. Evonne will explore how over the last 25 years, the IPC community has contributed enormously to patient safety by preventing and learning from outbreaks of infections. 

Andrew Jackson, IV Nurse Consultant from The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust will also be presenting on the Monday, delivering a session entitled “Past present & future state of central line bundles”.  In this session, Andrew will discuss the influence of a central line care bundle in supporting implementation of the evidence base to improve patient outcomes by preventing infections.

On the morning of Tuesday 30th September, Peter Hoffman, Consultant Clinical Scientist from Public Health England will present a session entitled “Contamination risks and how to reduce them”. During this session, Peter will explore how dental settings and instruments are contaminated, identify the significance of contamination from various sources in a dental setting and outline the importance of decontamination of instruments and the environment.


An integral part of conference is always the oral papers and poster presentations. They provide the ideal opportunity for those working in practice to share knowledge and ideas; it also provides a chance to network with colleagues. If you have a project or piece of work that you have been working on which you would like to share then why don’t you consider submitting an abstract for presentation as either a poster or oral paper? You can do so by visiting

One thing that delegates always enjoy is the opportunity to visit the conference exhibition.  This allows conference delegates to interact and network with the many companies that supply infection prevention related products.


Now to the important part, if you would like to win two free places at this exciting conference (worth £599 each) just answer this simple question:

What steps do you take to improve infection control in your placement area?

Use the comments section below to submit your answer.


*prize is an entrance ticket to the conference, please note that travel and accomodation are not included


Readers' comments (7)

  • I provide everyone in my workplace and at clinical hand sanitizers. I remind others that things dropped on the floor, even if not opened can be contaminated and harm that patient. Also bacteria can cause HAIs throughout the facility, to other students, their familys, it is a never ending battle that people should take more serious.

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  • Back to basics: Hand hygiene, use of aseptic non-touch technique, and assesment - upon admission prompt isolation if there is known or suspected infection are my 3 top tips

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  • Good hand washing techniques, remembering not to talk over wounds, and either washing my hands or using a hand sanitizing foam after patient contact. Also wiping surfaces down with antibacterial spray after use.

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  • As a student I ensure my hand washing AND drying technique is correct. I encourage patients to get involved by offering them the opportunity to wash their hands before meals or if they are unable to get to the sink offer them an antibacterial hand wipe. Using antibacterial/sanitising wipes to keep the bed area clean and ensure every patient has hand gel available if they wish to use it. Washing hands between patient's and wiping down equipment after use (examples: Blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters). Ensuring aprons and gloves are being disposed of immediately and correctly after you have finished performing a task (dont use the same gloves for another patient).

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  • Being a student nurse in my second year of training, I have learnt how avoidable and preventable infection can be if we all work together in managing infection control techniques.
    I always maintain my hand washing by technique ensuring I wash my hands before and after patient care.
    I adhere to the uniform policy including clean uniform, hair tied back in a bun, nails kept clean and short with no nail varnish, no jewellery, and any cuts or grazes on my skin covered with a plaster.
    I ensure that I adhere to strict aseptic non-touch technique when nursing wounds, and when performing a catheterisation.
    I also aim to keep the environment in which I am working in clean and tidy, putting any waste in bins and ensuring all surfaces are wiped clean with the correct wipes provided by the Trust which I am working in and I prompt all visitors to carry out the hand washing technique also.
    I also ensure that any patients that are in a side room area due to infectious diseases are known to the other staff, are nursed using the appropriate protective equipment , for example gloves and plastic apron and that hands are washed before and after entering a infectious zone.
    I also ensure that patients being admitted onto a ward for the first time carry out the basic swabs to test for MRSA so we can order appropriate treatment for them if they are positive for MRSA.
    I would also be alert and conscientious of any patient suddenly developing loose stools - if this was to happen I would obtain a stool sample, send to it the lab, and ask a senior staff member about transferring the patient in a side ward area if possible to rule out any contagious disease.

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  • Thank you to everyone who entered this competition. IPS were thrilled with the clear understanding of infection prevention issues that all the entries showed.<br/><br/>The winner, Claire Hornigold, was chosen for her thoroughness not only in preventing infection, but in identifying possible congatious diseases and taking appropriate action.<br/><br/>Well done Claire, enjoy the conference!<br/><br/>

  • I cannot believe I have won this - what a fantastic opportunity!! Thank you so much I really am grateful and extremely excited to attend this event!

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  • Claire Hornigold | 19-Jun-2014 7:07 pm

    Well done!

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