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Professional Resources

Prevent the spread of infection

It may be impossible to stop some infections from happening, but the purpose of infection prevention and control is to reduce the risk of the infection spreading.

Some examples of the measures that can be put into place are detailed below.

Standard precautions

Everyday practices to be used to prevent the growth and / or spread of infections.

Hand hygiene

As long as hand hygiene is done correctly, it is one of the most important activities that we can do to reduce the spread of infection.

Personal protective equipment

Protecting workers personal body and / or their uniform, using equipment such as gloves and aprons, can reduce the spread of infection.

Personal protective equipment – Royal college of nursing

Safe handling and disposal of sharps

A sharps injury can be from any sharp object such as a:

  • medical instrument
  • splinter
  • piece of sharp plastic or glass
  • knife

It is important to know how to immediately deal with these injuries, the process is detailed in:

Management of staff exposure to potential and actual blood borne virus infections in care homes   Opens new windowOpens new window

Managing the risks of sharps injuries – NHS Employers

Cleaning and decontamination

When performed correctly, the opportunities for infections to breed and grow are removed.

In the right environment some infections can survive for years without being detected.  Terminals not been cleaned and decontaminated effectively are one of the most common causes of re-infection.

Waste disposal

It is important that infectious waste is bagged correctly and sent to be incinerated to kill the infection.  This procedure is expensive so it is important that items which can be recycled or thrown away in general waste are not added to this disposal method.

If you’re in your own home, you’d need to discuss this with the relevant NHS agency such as your GP.

Healthcare and related wastes –


Our clothes can be a breeding ground for microorganisms, which is why it would be wise to wash garments on the highest heat that a garment can take to get rid of these.

Decontamination of linen for health and social care (HTM 01-04) – 

Source isolation

When someone begins to show symptoms of a possible infectious disease, they should be isolated until the risk of spreading the infection has passed.  Staff should also be excluded from work as detailed in the:

Action checklist for source isolation precautions   Opens new window

National guidance

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