NICE, in partnership with the Health Protection Agency (HPA), has produced this quality improvement guide for board members working in (or with) hospitals. The aim is twofold: to reduce the risk of harm from healthcare-associated infections for patients, staff and visitors; and to reduce the costs associated with preventable infection.
The guide consists of 11 quality improvement statements which provide clear markers of excellence in infection prevention and control at a management or organisational level. Each statement is supported by examples of the type of evidence that could be used to prove the organisation has achieved excellence, and examples of what this would mean in practice on a day-to-day basis.
The guide was developed using a pilot process.
It was previously called prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections: quality improvement guide.
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.