Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

08th August 2018

What are the potential risks of infection within Care Homes?

Hi Sheila, what are the potential risks of infection within Care Homes?


Dear F,


Thank you for your question.


The question that you ask is very wide ranging and there are many books and guidance on the subject.


The question is of course very pertinent because people who live in care homes may suffer from a variety of conditions which makes them particularly susceptible to infection.


The Department of Health recognises the importance of good hygiene and other precautions in care homes and has issued a document:


Prevention and control of infection in care homes: an information resource


All homes should have a copy of this document available for staff to read.


The document updates Infection Control Guidance for Care Homes (Department of Health, 2006) and should be read alongside The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance (Department of Health, December 2010) (‘The Code’).


Contained within the document is the Code of Practice which all registered providers of care homes are required  to comply with as set out in the paragraph above.


The 10 principles of the Code of Practice are:


1. Systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of infection. These systems use risk assessments and consider how susceptible service users are and any risks that their environment and other users may pose to them.


2. Provide and maintain a clean and appropriate environment in managed premises that facilitates the prevention and control of infections.


3. Provide suitable accurate information on infections to service users and their visitors.


4. Provide suitable accurate information on infections to any person concerned with providing further support or nursing/medical care in a timely fashion.


5.  Ensure that people who have or develop an infection are identified promptly and receive the appropriate treatment and care to reduce the risk of passing on the infection to other people.


6. Ensure that all staff and those employed to provide care in all settings are fully involved in the process of preventing and controlling infection.


7. Provide or secure adequate isolation facilities.


8. Secure adequate access to laboratory support as appropriate.


9. Have and adhere to policies, designed for the individual’s care and provider organisations that will help to prevent and control infections.


10. Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that care workers are free of and are protected from exposure to infections that can be caught at work and that all staff are suitably educated in the prevention and control of infection associated with the provision of health and social care.


You should have the appropriate Policies and Procedures in place in the home (if you have a Quality Management System such as QCS then you will have all the required policies and procedures already in place).


It is essential as well that your staff have the proper training to make sure that you comply with the regulation.


I hope this is helpful.


Best wishes.



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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