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Infection prevention and control

Welcome to the RCN's infection control web pages. Here you can find latest news and guidance on infection prevention as well as resources and downloads that will help you prevent and control infection. 

The RCN considers infection prevention and control to be a core element of quality, patient safety and governance systems and as such it is one of the RCN's key areas of activity. The role of the nurse adviser is to support, enhance and promote excellence in nursing practice in this field. 

What is infection prevention and control?

Infection prevention and control is the clinical application of microbiology in practice. Infection or disease may be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses or prions and can result in a wide variety of infections, for example, urinary tract, wound, respiratory, blood, bone and skin infections. 

Not all infections are transmissible but some, such as C. difficile, influenza and norovirus have the potential to spread from one patient to another, causing infection. This has additional significant implications for healthcare organisations, facilities or nursing homes. Understanding how infections occur and how different micro-organisms act and spread is crucial to preventing infections. As nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants, prevention is our primary aim.

Latest news

Ebola outbreak in Western Africa

The RCN recognises that some RCN members may be in situations where there is an increased likelihood of a patient or member of the public presenting as unwell after travel to affected areas, or that they may have questions relating to the current situation.  A dedicated RCN webpage has been established to support members and direct them to information.  Follow the link to the Ebola information page.

The RCN joins collaborative movement to fight health care associated infections

The Royal College of Nursing is joining the ‘OneTogether’ programme, a global movement aimed at improving patient safety by reduce preventable health care associated infections (HCAIs).

‘OneTogether’ is a collaboration of professional associations and industry partners with the joint aim of improving patient outcomes. To drive the UK element, the RCN’s Infection Prevention and Control Network, along with other key UK professional bodies, is partnering with the technology company 3M’s Infection Prevention Division, initiators of the programme.

For more information on RCN and 3M collaboration please go to the One Together Collaborative page

Join us

We now have over 1000 members. To join the rapidly expanding RCN Infection Prevention and Control Network please email ipc@rcn.org.uk with your name and either your membership number or date of birth. To unsubscribe, please email us and your details will be removed.

Your feedback is needed

These web pages are new and are being updated and expanded according to your needs. We welcome your feedback and ideas on improving the service we provide to you as members. Please email ipc@rcn.org.uk with your suggestions on how we can improve this resource for you.