The RCN and the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) have today published a joint paper highlighting concerns over the impact of fragmentation with infection prevention and control arrangements within the health service in England.
The paper points to the complexity that now exists within the health service and the ongoing impact of this. Restructuring of NHS services and the transfer of responsibilities following the Health and Social Care Act 2012 has resulted in the loss of some specialist infection control expertise and a lack of central oversight of the situation as the threat of antimicrobial resistance increases.
Rose Gallagher, the RCN’s Professional lead on infection prevention and control, said:
“Quality commissioning to enable high standards of infection prevention and control is as important as clinical practices when caring for patients. Any fragmentation in availability or access to specialist advice by commissioning or regulatory organisations creates a risk that transfers directly to patients. While some progress has been made in simplifying regulatory systems, patients still need to know that this is high on the agendas of those who plan our health system for the future.
“I would urge anyone involved in commissioning or scrutiny of healthcare to read this document. We hope it will stimulate thinking and allow important questions to be asked about how and where infection prevention specialist advice is provided. This is a crucial pillar in delivering safe care.”