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Hand sanitising

Current work

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

International Infection Prevention Week 2018

International Infection prevention week ran from 14-20 October 2018.

Led by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) this week provides a 7 day global focus on infection prevention and control.  The themes of this year’s week is 
‘Protecting Patients Everywhere’.  This theme is central to all our RCN activity on the prevention of infection regardless of care setting.  You can read about our current work below.

This year APIC have a range of resources available for you to download and use locally.  This includes posters with different slogans supporting ‘clean hands stop germs’, ABC’s of antibiotics and infection prevention and you.

Please note some resources refer to US terminology and regulatory requirements or standards – check first to make sure the messages are right for you.  

As well as infographics you can follow the week’s activity on social media via twitter and Facebook. 

The RCN will be hosting its own #RCNchat on Twitter on 18th October as part of our work on toy cleaning and theme of ‘Protecting Patients Everywhere’.  Find out more about our twitter chat here. 

To join the RCN CYP Infection prevention and control network please follow the Facebook page link.  

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 education in infection prevention and control (commences November 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.
    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.



    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

    Page last updated - 22/11/2018