Action on Health Care Associated Infections in England: Summary of responses to the consultation | National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC)

Action on Health Care Associated Infections in England: Summary of responses to the consultation

A consultation on proposed legislation to support the prevention and control of health care associated infection (HCAI) was launched in July 2005 and this document provides a summary of the responses to that consultation along with a classification of respondents. 121 responses were received by the closing date of the consultation. The original consultation was divided into three key parts: - Part one describes the nature of the HCAI  problem and the action that the Government has already taken to address it; Part two sets out the details of the new legislative proposals and seeks the views of key stakeholders. Part two also includes a small number of scenarios to illustrate how the new measures might work in practice. Part three sets out the draft Code of Practice. The consultation document included four specific questions, as well as offering the opportunity to comment on the proposals more widely.
Department of Health

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A consultation on proposed legislation to support the prevention and control of healthcare associated infection (HCAI)The consultation is divided into three parts:·Part 1 – The nature of the problem Contains information on definition of HCAI and the burden caused by the problem Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSABrief description of its development and the use of MRSA as a marker for HCAI’s Who is affected by HCAI’s Available data and where HCAI’s are found Action taken to date and current strategy National targets, DIPC’s, rapid review panel, package of key measures (Saving Lives), and two hour test for MRSA screening.·Part 2 – proposals for Further Action Legislative proposals including Code of Practice, new duty on the NHS and Healthcare Commission, duties to comply and inspect, improvement notices, directions for improvements and sanctions, use of existing powers and approach in respect of private health care and Care Homes. At the end of each section are a list of questions to respond to during the consultation·Part 3 – The Draft code of Practice which contains requirements for Healthcare Organisations General considerations, management and organisations, patient care, the environment and healthcare workersThis is an important consultation aimed at all NHS establishments and whose objective is to strengthen existing measures to reduce HCAI’s. Where appropriate it is proposed that the principles and procedures established for the NHS should be introduced into regulations issued under the Care Standards Act (2000) for the independent health care sector and for care homes.This means that most healthcare organisations will eventually need to comply with the Code of Practice and therefore it is important for them to respond to the consultation if they foresee any difficulties with the proposals.
Questions Addressed:
The document forms part of the consultation on proposed legislation to support the prevention and control of healthcare associated infection (HCAI) and to strengthen existing measures to reduce HCAI.
Type of Study:
Methods Valid:
Methods Valid Detail:

important consultation which will affect the legislation on prevention and control of healthcare associated infections. Closing date for responses 23rd September 2005

Results Reliability:
Yes, for recommendations for code of practice as based on best practice and previously released publications but this question will be answered for ‘recommendations on legislation’ once results of consultation process are made public
Problems or Biases:

Taking the right steps to prevent and control HCAI has become a major concern and this document will raise the profile of HCAI and provides ways of tightening inspection and enforcement. The accompanying document Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) provides three options for consideration but it appears that any legislative proposals are likely to be part of a new self assessment process in similar fashion to the now obsolete ‘Controls Assurance Framework’. This could be open to subjective interpretation.

Relevant Studies:

1. Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General – HC 230 Session 1999-2000: The Management and Control of Hospital acquired infection in acute NHS Trusts in England (2000) National Audit Office

healthcare associated infection legislation code of practice policies environment director of infection prevention and control cleaning bed management decontamination
Reviewer Name:
Sue Wiseman
Reviewer Post:
Nurse Consultant –Infection Control, DH
Reviewer Affiliations:
Member Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens Health Protection Adviser Royal College of Nursing P/T Member Infection Control Nurses Association