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HIQA launches module to support infection prevention and control in community services

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.

Ms 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 on www.hiqa.ie.

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