HIQA launches new digital learning module to support infection prevention and control in community services
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today launched a digital learning module to support staff in community health and social care services to implement safe practice in infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship, such as appropriate antibiotic use. These services include, for example, residential services for older people and people with a disability, day care services, general practices and care delivered in the home.
The online module aims to support services to implement the National Standards for infection prevention and control in community services.
Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, said: “Infection prevention and control is about supporting people to access care that is as safe as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of good infection prevention and control practices in all health and social care services to prevent the spread of infection. While overall responsibility for infection prevention and control and implementing the national standards rests with senior management, everyone working in health and social care services has a responsibility to provide care and support that is in line with good infection prevention and control practices.”
HIQA developed the module to support front-line staff working in community services to implement the standards in their day-to-day practice and to identify barriers to good hygiene practices. The training highlights the importance of good communication between people and services, and the importance of ensuring standard precautions are in place at all times.
Ms Flynn continued: “Preventing the spread of infection depends on everyone working within a service understanding their responsibilities and engaging in ways to reduce the risk of infection, such as ensuring hands, equipment and the environment are kept clean. It is also essential that antibiotics are used appropriately to reduce antibiotic resistance and ensure antibiotics remain effective.
“We hope that people will use this digital learning module to strengthen and improve standard infection prevention and control practices in community services across the country.”
This digital learning course can be completed here.
For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement (01) 8147480 / 085 805 5202 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editor:
- HIQA published National Standards for infection prevention and control in community services in 2018, following approval by the Minister for Health. All community-based health and social care services (such as dentists, nursing homes, ambulance services and general practice [GP] clinics) are required to meet these standards.
- The module aims to address knowledge and skills gaps that were identified through extensive stakeholder engagement throughout the standards development process (through an Advisory Group, focus groups with frontline staff, management and people using services, and a public consultation). Additional workshops were held following the publication of the national standards to identify barriers to implementation and to identify the key messages for the module.
- The module includes practical examples of infection prevention and control, self-reflection questions, scenarios describing real-life examples of good and bad practice and links to additional resources for staff.
- HIQA established an Infection Prevention and Control Hub in April 2020 to support social care services to implement infection and prevention and control measures and prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. The Hub can be contacted for support at DCIPCsupport@hiqa.ie.