Designing an optimal infection prevention service: part 2

Jude Robinson*, Lesley Price, Jon Otter, Emma Burnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Background: The importance of infection prevention and control (IPC) services to prevent threats from healthcare-associated infections and improve the quality of healthcare delivery is undeniable. However, IPC services across the UK and Ireland have substantial variability in terms of team structures and delivery models.

Aim: The aim of this study was to define an optimal IPC service in different contexts and settings within the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Methods: This mixed methods study adopted discussion huddles with IPC teams to explore various components of IPC programmes and services. A Nominal Group technique was then undertaken to achieve a group consensus of what an optimal infection prevention service should look like.

Results: Five discussion huddles were conducted which included 53 participants in total. Key themes arising were IPC Service Priorities, IPC Service Enablers for Success, and Necessary Skills and Expertise Required for Delivering an Effective IPC Service. For the nominal technique, 45 responses were identified which were determining the key priorities for an effective IPC service and 69 responses for establishing key enablers for success.

Discussion: These findings supported the development of a conceptual model for designing an optimal infection prevention service, which can be used to develop IPC services at an international, national, regional and local level. A focus is required around implementation of these highlighted enablers, so are effectively embedded into infection prevention and control services, and wider healthcare settings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Infection Prevention
Early online date15 Sep 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2022


  • infection prevention
  • infection prevention service
  • infection prevention programme
  • mixed methods research
  • healthcare-associated infections
  • infection prevention workforce

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Health Policy
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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