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Prevention and control of infection in care homes  

The steps taken in care homes to protect residents and staff from infection represent an important element in the quality of care, particularly as some infections have the capacity to spread within environments where susceptible people share eating and living accommodation. It is also important to be aware of the possibility of infection in residents and for care workers to identify these promptly.

An information resource

Care homes are monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who hold them to account using section 8 of the essential standards and takes in to account the Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance, a document that is commonly referred to as the hygiene code.

The hygiene code requires the home to have somebody responsible for infection prevention and control to act as a source of authority to set and monitor practice standards. Care homes also have a responsibility to report outbreaks of infection to Public Health England (PHE). 

What to do if there is an outbreak in your nursing or residential care home 

If there is an outbreak or suspected outbreak of infection, it should be reported to Public Health England (PHE) for collation. PHE are responsible for advising on outbreak control and monitoring the outbreak.  PHE can be contacted 0300 303 8162 option 1, option 1.

For further information please refer to:

Guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in acute and community health and social care settings 

PHE guidelines on the management of outbreaks of influenza-like illness (ILI) in care homes 

Urinary Catheter Care

Residents with a urinary catheter in place are at an increased risk of acquiring an infection. Bacteria can enter the urethra at the point where the catheter enters the body. The date of catheter insertion and the indication for catheterisation should be recorded in the resident’s notes. The resident’s clinical need for catheterisation should be reviewed regularly by the GP, District Nurse or Care Home Nurse and the urinary catheter removed as soon as possible.

Catheter passport – coming soon

Education and Training 

Level 1 course on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) from E-learning for Healthcare 

Infection. Prevention. Control – NHS education and advice hub with case studies, guidelines and training 

Royal College of Nursing – Training Resources 

NHS Education for Scotland – Training Resources