P_IPC_01 Infection Prevention Policy

Healthcare associated infections (HCAI's) are infections that are neither present nor incubating when a patient is admitted to hospital. They are well recognised to cause morbidity and mortality. Not all infections are preventable as in many cases the outcome of an infection is dependent upon patient susceptibility. Infection Prevention and Control serves to reduce the risk of an infection spreading to a new host to an "irreducible minimum".

Clinical care is now delivered within the governance framework that is itself firmly embedded in an environment of managed risk. The fundamental principle of "Infection Prevention and Control" is the creation and maintenance of a safe environment through the development and implementation of robust guidelines and policies. Annual work programmes form the basis of arrangements for preventing and controlling healthcare acquired infections that will effectively minimise, manage or eliminate cross infection risks within the working environment and reduce the risk of the spread of infection to both patients and staff.

We have an open approach to infection prevention and control with all of our infection control documents being made publically available to staff and the public via the internet and other supporting written material such as patient leaflets. Reducing this risk has led to many initiatives which have been taken into account during the development of this policy and the associated guidelines.

Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has a legal obligation to ensure that arrangements are in place to protect patients and staff from the risks of acquiring an HCAI during the provision of healthcare. The Trust is committed to the development of safe working practices relating to the control of infection and the spread of disease.

Staff will be provided with appropriate training to protect their health and safety when meeting the needs of the patients/clients they serve.

This overarching policy should be read in conjunction with the relevant Infection Prevention and Control clinical guidelines, policies and leaflets which may be found on the website.

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