Infection Prevention and Control for Residential Care Centres

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A national survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial medication use in long-term care facilities in 2016 found that at any point in time about 1 in 25 residents have a healthcare-associated infection (HPSE, 2016).

What is HCAI?

Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI’s) is an infection that develops either as a direct result of healthcare interventions, such as medical or surgical treatment, or from being in contact with a healthcare setting. A number of these infections are no longer confined to the hospital setting and are increasingly prevalent in health and social care services in the community. They can have a huge impact on people, causing distress and anxiety, serious illness, disability and in some cases even death.

Examples include:

How do we address HCAI’s?

HCAI’s are known to be avoidable if measures are taken to identify and address the work practices, equipment and environmental risks that have the potential to cause infection. These measures are collectively referred to as infection prevention and control and describe the practice of providing safe care in a clean environment.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when a micro-organism develops resistance to an antimicrobial medication that had been originally effective for treating infections caused by it. The extensive use, misuse and overuse of antimicrobial medications have contributed to increased antimicrobial resistance. (HIQA, 2018)

How do we address Antimicrobial Resistance?

By applying appropriate Antimicrobial Stewardship. Antimicrobial stewardship is about:

HIQA National Standards for Infection Prevention and Control for Community Services

Where did they come from?

The National Standards for infection prevention and control for community services, introduced in late 2018, complement and build on the infection prevention and control concepts outlined in these existing overarching standards:

The National Standards apply to all community health and social care services outside the acute hospital setting in Ireland, for example:

What will the standards do for us?

The purposes of the new standards include:

Areas for consideration:

Key Infection Prevention and Control Measures

Whose responsibility is it?

The overall responsibility for infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship and implementation of these National Standards rests with the senior management of that service.

Do you have a policy and procedure developed for infection prevention and control practices? If not, check out our policies on

(HPSE, 2016) HSE Heath Protection Surveillance Centre. Point Prevalence Survey of Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use in Long-Term Care Facilities, 2016.

(HIQA, 2018) National standards for infection prevention and control in community health and social care services, Health Information and Quality Authority, 2018.

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