New HSE competency framework for infection prevention and control practitioners

By Reporter - 24th May 2022 | 697 views

Pictured at the launch of the HSE Competency Framework for Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners in Ireland are members of the HSE antimicrobial resistance and infection control (AMRIC) team: (L-R) Ms Shirley Keane, AMRIC Programme Manager; Ms Eimear O’Donovan, Assistant Director of Nursing; Ms Josephine Galway, Director of Nursing; and Ms Barbara Slevin, Assistant Director of Nursing.

The HSE antimicrobial resistance and infection control (AMRIC) team has launched the Competency Framework for Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners in Ireland. This important framework was developed to support healthcare professionals pursuing specialist careers in infection prevention and control (IPC). It helps staff in identifying and gaining the specific competencies they will require as an IPC practitioner.

Dr Eimear Brannigan, HSE Clinical Lead, AMRIC, said: “Effective infection prevention and control is central to providing clean, safe and high-quality health and social care for people who use those services. It also protects those who deliver the services and the wider community. All healthcare services must have basic IPC capacity within their core staff complement and must also have access to higher-level expertise to support decision-making when necessary.

“This new document has been developed by the AMRIC nursing team to support healthcare professionals pursuing specialist careers in IPC. It will help in identifying and gaining the specific knowledge and skills they will require as IPC practitioners.”

Ms Rachel Kenna, Chief Nursing Officer, Department of Health, said: “I am delighted to support the launch of this new Competency Framework for Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners in Ireland. This is the first such framework on IPC for Ireland and it is an important step forward in advancing IPC practice. It will also assist with maintaining and improving expertise in IPC among health staff and promoting a high-quality and consistent approach to IPC practices.

“This Framework is significant for the delivery of Ireland’s second One Health National Action on Antimicrobial Resistance 2021-2025 (iNAP2) by helping to prevent and control the spread of infection and demonstrates Ireland’s commitment to best practice in this area. Importantly, it builds on the learning and experience from the Covid-19 pandemic response, a time when IPC was so important for safe environments for patients receiving care and the staff that delivered such care.

“I would like to congratulate the HSE national AMRIC team for their leadership in developing and making available this valuable resource for healthcare professionals and service providers.”

The framework aims to support managers in growing and developing a skilled infection prevention and control workforce by:

• providing standardised core competencies required for IPC practitioners in Ireland

• assist in curriculum design of post graduate training courses for IPC in Ireland

• support healthcare organisations in growing and developing skilled and educated IPC workforce

• support self-assessment of competence by the IPC practitioner

• assist and complement staff appraisal and professional development plan processes.

This document will continue to support the growth and development of a skilled infection prevention and control workforce in Ireland, according to the HSE.

The framework can be accessed at the following link: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/our-priority-programmes/hcai/resources/general/competency-framework-for-infection-prevention-control-practitioners.pdf

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