Make your intention infection prevention

HSE Press Release

Friday, 14th October 2022

Make your intention infection prevention

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) 16th to 22nd October

The HSE is marking International Infection Prevention Week (16th to 22nd October) which takes place around the world to highlight how we can protect our health through reducing infection. The aim of the week is to highlight the important science and the people who prevent infection across residential services, community services, hospitals, laboratories and all areas where people access health and social care. Infection prevention and control is a vital part of all health services.

Dr. Eimear Brannigan, HSE National Lead for Antibiotic Resistance says, “International Infection Prevention Week gives us the opportunity to highlight some of the key actions we can all take to reduce infection. We have all learnt the importance of reducing infection as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. The frontline of preventing healthcare associated infection is the hands-on care delivered with skill and commitment by our health and social care workers to the most vulnerable patients and clients in their homes, in residential settings and in hospitals.”

One of the most important parts of infection prevention and control of course is to make sure that those hands that do the hands-on care are clean hands. Infection prevention and control (IPC) practitioners play a critical role in working with their colleagues to keep our health and social care services safe from the threat of infectious disease - whether that is COVID-19, influenza, catheter related infection or wound infection or any other healthcare associated infection.

Working as an infection prevention and control practitioner can be very rewarding. This year the HSE published the first Competency Framework for Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners in Ireland. This document provides a competency framework to support healthcare professionals to review, assess and document their knowledge, skills and competence to work as IPC practitioners. It is a valuable tool in helping staff to develop their IPC knowledge and skills against established criteria.

At a personal and community level we all know how important infection prevention has been as we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keeping our hands clean, making sure that we cough or sneeze into a tissue or our elbows, good ventilation and staying home if we are unwell all help to stop the spread of infection.

It is essential that we all clean our hands thoroughly to reduce the risk of infection spreading. We often think we have washed our hands properly but have a look at this short experiment and you may be surprised.

See hse.ie/hand hygiene for more information about good hand hygiene. Check out the e-bug website lots of games, fun facts and information on infection control, hand hygiene and lessons for teachers.

 Issued by:

HSE National Press Office

press@hse.ie

Last updated on: 14 / 10 / 2022