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Model Infection Control Policies – A National Resource for Scotland

American Journal of Infection Control
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2006.05.151
  • Infection Prevention And Control Programs


ISSUE: Following a mandate from the Scottish Executive Health Department and reports stating that standards within hospitals and home care settings in Scotland required improvement, model infection control policies were requested to support implementation of infection prevention and control programs. Our Infection Control Team were tasked with developing these policies in conjunction with stakeholers, as part of our responsibility to facilitate knowledge management. The first policies identified for development, due to a lack of consistency and currency of those policies already in place in Scotland, were on standard precautions. PROJECT: The policies developed were based on the standard precautions described by Garner in the Guideline for Isolation Precautions in Hospitals in 1996 and as recommended to be adopted by all healthcare settings in the Scottish Infection Manual in 1997. A novel approach to developing model infection control policies was used to ensure relevance to all settings: A Steering Group, consisting of representatives from all settings and a member of the public, was set up to oversee the work. A web based forum was made accessible to the Group to allow consultation and to facilitate version control of documents. A project management approach was applied to facilitate progress and quality assurance. It was established early in the project from other national initiatives, that utilising questions and answers to format the policies was the most appropriate. Critical appraisal of the literature was conducted, to underpin each of the policies, as well as consideration of expert infection control opinion to ensure relevance to settings within Scotland. Policy content was also mapped to existing audit tools. Autoalerts were set up within the e.library at this time to ensure any new, relevant literature would be highlighted in a timely fashion. The policies and literature reviews were sent out for wide consultation around the UK, with returned comments collated, categorised and ratified by an external assessor. Materials to support implementation of the policies, e.g. audit tools, example training materials, were also compiled and made available alongside the policy documents. RESULTS: The Team produced nine model policies and associated literature reviews and published them on the internet. These will be reviewed annually.The process used to produce these documents was evaluated in order to inform further model policy development. LESSONS LEARNED: The process to develop these policies proved essential in ensuring a high standard of work, in line with international standards. It has proven to be a resource intense excercise, however, duplication of policy development in Scotland has been prevented. The response to the policies has been very positive, which has highlighted the importance of producing such resources to facilitate knowledge management throughout Scotland.

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