Recommendation 108

Support to local agencies – infection control

Accepted
Public Health England should review the support and training that health protection staff can offer to local authorities and other agencies in relation to local oversight of healthcare providers’ infection control arrangements.

Public Health England recognises the importance of supporting local infection control and prevention arrangements, and has undertaken a review. Although the offer of support and training would be a significant undertaking, Public Health England is considering options as to how it will be able to provide this in the future and is discussing these with the Department of Health.

Update

Public Health England is continuing to work with partners working across the Health Protection Directorate, the Nursing Directorate and the Operations Directorate to explore options to improve training.

Public Health England is currently triangulating work across three of its Directorates (Health Protection, Operations and Nursing) to develop a training strategy to facilitate support and training for Local Authorities and other agencies (stakeholders) in relation to both the local oversight and risk assessment of healthcare providers’ infection control arrangements.

A position statement and proposals for the High Level Steering Group for the UK 5 year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy outlining Infection Prevention and Control in England – Proposals to revisit structures and functions, principles and practice was submitted on 18 July 2014 with an emphasis on education, training and leadership.

A report of the Public Health England-led multi-stakeholder Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy Systems Mapping Workshop held on the 08 July 2014 outlined the development of a national training and education framework for professionals for Infection Prevention and Control and antibiotic resistance, focusing on establishing strong national and local leadership and governance for Infection Prevention and Control across the health and care sector.

The Public Health England Operational Directorate (via the Public Health England Centre Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections leads group) is developing a ‘train the trainers’ programme outlining the roles and responsibilities of Public Health England Centres there Local Authorities and other Stakeholders.

This will be by the end of the financial year and will be aligned with the revision of the Public Health England internal Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance Operational Guidance for Public Health England Centres, the cross-organisational ‘Overarching Principles for Sharing Concerns’ and the revision of The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance (2010) .

The training programme will cover local oversight of infection prevention and control for local authorities and other agencies using risk assessment, epidemiological principles, infection surveillance data and softer intelligence. The training programme will utilise existing local and national data combined with local knowledge and will be developed and disseminated through Health Protection Teams using the available resources and by working with their health communities (Quality surveillance Groups, Health and Well-being Groups and Infection Prevention and Control committees). This will contribute to a consistent approach across all Public Health England Centres and their localities.