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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

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.

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, the ‘OneTogether’ programme aims to empower the health care community to deliver a sustainable change in HCAI incidence. It has been agreed that the initial area of focus will be to drive implementation of standards for infection control practice within perioperative practice.

Rose Gallagher, the RCN’s Infection Prevention and Control Adviser, said: “Collaboration stimulates open dialogue, removing any barriers imposed by specialties or disciplines. By sharing experiences and ideas we can promote best practice and empower healthcare professionals to make a difference at every level to reducing HCAIs.” 

Those passionate about improving patient care by reducing HCAIs can join the ‘OneTogether’ movement at  www.joinonetogether.org

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.