The Government Response to ‘Fighting infection’, the 4th Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and technology 2002-2003 | National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC)

The Government Response to ‘Fighting infection’, the 4th Report of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and technology 2002-2003

Government report
Abstract: 
The report sets out the how the Government will introduce effective policies against infection during a time of substantial changes in the health protection infrastructure, in the NHS and during re-organisation of the Department of Health. There is further detail on the twelve proposals for improvement to arrangements, set out in the first infectious disease strategy “Getting Ahead of the Curve” (January 2002) and how these are being taken forward. This includes: - · Creating the Health Protection Agency · Anew mechanism to identify and assess the threat from new and emerging infectious diseases · A strengthened and integrated system of infectious disease and health protection surveillance · Intensified action to reassert control over serious infectious disease problems · Rationalisation of microbiology laboratories and new post of Inspector of Microbiology · A programme of new vaccine development · A strengthened, integrated approach to infection in childhood · Clear and comprehensive contingency plans to reduce the impact of any future terrorist attack · A new capacity to provide the public with information about infectious diseases and the risk associated with them · Enhanced programmes of professional education and training in infectious disease prevention, control and treatment · A research and innovation programme · Modernising public health law This report outlines in detail the Governments response to the inquiries recommendations and is laid out in an easily read ‘recommendation and response’ format.
Authors: 
Secretary of State for Health
Category: 
Control
Prevention

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Summary:
The report sets out the how the Government will introduce effective policies against infection during a time of substantial changes in the health protection infrastructure, in the NHS and during re-organisation of the Department of Health.There is further detail on the twelve proposals for improvement to arrangements, set out in the first infectious disease strategy “Getting Ahead of the Curve” (January 2002) and how these are being taken forward.This includes: -· Creating the Health Protection Agency· Anew mechanism to identify and assess the threat from new and emerging infectious diseases· A strengthened and integrated system of infectious disease and health protection surveillance· Intensified action to reassert control over serious infectious disease problems· Rationalisation of microbiology laboratories and new post of Inspector of Microbiology · A programme of new vaccine development· A strengthened, integrated approach to infection in childhood· Clear and comprehensive contingency plans to reduce the impact of any future terrorist attack· A new capacity to provide the public with information about infectious diseases and the risk associated with them· Enhanced programmes of professional education and training in infectious disease prevention, control and treatment· A research and innovation programme· Modernising public health lawThis report outlines in detail the Governments response to the inquiries recommendations and is laid out in an easily read ‘recommendation and response’ format.
Questions Addressed:
The document outlines the government’s present policy to protect the health of the population from infectious diseases and how they will respond to the Science and Technology Select Committee’s recommendations which followed a review of available evidence on present systems for diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of infectious diseases. The report focuses on infectious disease as it affects England but recognizes the importance of international dimensions to infectious disease control and discusses this accordingly
Type of Study:
Response to recommendations from a review of national and international evidence plus oral and written evidence from experts.
Methods Valid:
Yes
Methods Valid Detail:

Follow on from Science and technology – Fourth report ‘Fighting Infection’ 2003

Results Reliability:
Yet to be proven?
Problems or Biases:

There is recognition from all involved that there is room for improvement in management and infrastructure for health protection and there is increasing information/evidence on prevention and control of infectious diseases following outbreaks of new and emerging infections such as Severe Acute respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Avian Influenza which should continue to inform policy.

Relevant Studies:

1. Select Committee on Science and technology. Fighting Infection (2003) – Fourth report http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldselect/ldsctech/138/.... The Path of Least Resistance - Standing Medical Advisory Committee, (SMAC) Sub Group on Antimicrobial Resistance http://www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/smac/smac1.htm3. Getting Ahead of the Curve: A Strategy for combating infectious disease. A Report by the Chief Medical Officer (2002) http://www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/ClosedConsultations/ClosedConsultatio.... Optimising Clinical Use of Antimicrobials (2001) http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/06/56/22/04065622.pdf 5. Science summit: harnessing science to combat healthcare associated infection 15th & 16th December 2004 http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/10/64/32/04106432.pdf 6. Winning Ways – working together to reduce healthcare acquired infection. Report from the CMO (December 2003)7. SARS – Hospital Infection Control Guidance. http://www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az/SARS/pdfs/hosp_infect_cont.pdf 8. Hospital management of Adults with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) if SARS re-emerges – Updated 10 Feb 2004. BIS/BTS/HPA Clinical Guidelines http://www.brit-thoracic.org.uk 9. The Decontamination of People Exposed to Chemical, Biological, radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) Substances or material – Strategic National Guidance February 2003 Home Office 10. Deliberate Release Guidance: Public health Response , Department of health 2002 http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/EmergencyPlanning/DeliberateRelea... Websites- Health Protection Agency information on infectious diseases in A to Z format www.hpa.org.uk/infections/topics_az - Emergency Planning Co-ordination unit Department of health http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/EmergencyPlanning/fs/en -WHO slide set on the diagnosis of smallpox October 24, 2001 http://www.who.int/emc/diseases/smallpox/slideset/index.htm

Keywords:
infectious disease health protection CBRN microbial pathogens surveillance emerging infection vaccines terrorist attack education training research and innovation public health law
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