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Hand sanitising

Current work

More information on the RCN's involvement with infection prevention and control and antimicrobial resistance

Glove Awareness Week (GAW) 30 April to 4 May 2018

The RCN is hosting a Glove Awareness week to coincide with the updating of its guidance on glove use ‘Tools of the Trade’.  

The aim of the week is to highlight the need for nursing staff to be ‘glove aware’ and promote appropriate use of gloves in the workplace. Over-use of gloves, including the wearing of gloves when not necessary, carries the risk of staff developing work-related dermatitis.  Additionally the wearing of gloves when not necessary risks undermining hand hygiene programmes, particularly when gloves are not changed between patient/person contacts.

What will GAW do?

GAW will showcase work of organisations and individuals on reducing unnecessary glove use and promoting skin health. Additionally for each day of the week we will promote messages on maintaining skin health and best practice for glove use.

How can you be part of this week?

Visit our Glove Awareness Week webpage and download the resources. These have been designed to fit in with any activities you may be undertaking locally to stimulate conversations about glove use and skin care.

We are keen to hear from you if you are doing work locally on promoting skin health or promoting appropriate use of gloves. This might be led by link nurses, infection prevention teams or local areas such as wards/dept’s/nursing homes. To find out more contact Rose Gallagher.

Please complete and return this evaluation form on Glove Awareness Week 2018

Leadership and professional advice

The RCN, through the professional lead for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), provides visible and clinical leadership in support of Infection Prevention and Control and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In addition to our strategic activity, we work to ensure that any resources we develop add value to our members and stakeholders, do not duplicate existing available information, complement the work of others and are quality assured.

The RCN hosts a generic IPC Network which supports the delivery of RCN focused projects or resources involving the prevention of infection. A new IPC network to support nurses and others working with Children and Young people (CYP) was launched in 2017.   Additionally, the RCN is actively involved in strategic work programmes and stakeholder or expert reference group meetings to influence and develop policy on Healthcare Associated Infections, and AMR for all countries of the UK. This work closely aligns with RCN activity supporting patient safety, quality improvement and sepsis recognition and management.

Specific examples of current, strategic work we are undertaking or supporting that impacts on the prevention of infection includes:

  • Developing a new professional development course to support post-registration and specialist education in infection prevention and control (commences Spring 2018)
  • Supporting the Care Quality Commission (England) in the development of its new regulatory framework and inspection programme through its co-production programme 
  • NHS Improvement Prevention of Healthcare Associated Gram-Negative Blood Stream Infections programme
  • Influencing and supporting the implementation of the Future Operating Model (FOM) in England and procurement of products and consumables – see Small Changes Big Differences
  • Membership of the European Network to Promote Infection Prevention for Patient Safety  (EUNETIPS)
  • High Consequence Infectious Disease planning.

Antimicrobial resistance

Our work supporting efforts to reduce the risk of AMR is diverse and more detail can be found on our Antimicrobial resistance page.

  • Advising the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) on the development and implementation of their AMR strategy 
  • Attending the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) stakeholder meetings
  • Membership of the English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) group
  • Activities supporting European Antibiotic Awareness day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week
  • Membership of the human and animal health alliance
  • Development and implementation of new rapid diagnostics 
  • Development of a new BSI standard for antimicrobial impregnated surfaces.


In 2013 the RCN joined OneTogether, 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.

Despite continued focus on infection prevention, HCAIs remain an ongoing threat to patient safety and a significant drain on health service budgets. By facilitating joint working and connecting resources and expertise, OneTogether aims to empower the health care community to deliver a sustainable change in HCAI incidence.

Read about OneTogether

IPC network

IPC network

More information on the RCN's infection prevention and control network and how you can get involved.
Facebook group

RCN Children and Young People IPC Network

This Network exists to support nursing staff who work with Children and Young people who have responsibilities for or an interest in Infection Prevention and Control. 

Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as a global health and economic threat. Nursing has a key role in supporting efforts to reduce this threat as a central part of the healthcare and public health workforce.