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Introduction

The healthcare environment is a secondary reservoir for micro-organisms with a potential for causing infection. It is important that healthcare buildings are designed with appropriate consultation, and the design facilitates good infection prevention and control practices and has the quality and design of finishes and fittings that enable thorough access, cleaning and maintenance to take place. If healthcare associated infection is to be reduced, it is imperative that infection control is considered at all stages of the capital/estates development process, from planning and design through to the completion of the build for both new builds and refurbishment of existing facilities.

 

Purpose

High standards of environmental hygiene and clinical practice in healthcare facilities have been identified as being important in minimising the risk of the transmission of infection. The design, planning, construction, refurbishment and ongoing maintenance of the healthcare facility also have an important role to play in the prevention and control of infection. The physical environment has to assist, not hinder, good practice.

The Chief Medical Officer’s report on infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance (Davis, 2013) stated that the design, construction and maintenance of healthcare facilities have a substantial bearing on the risk of developing a healthcare-associated infection.

It is important that Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is design-in at the planning and design stages of a new-build or refurbishment project and that input continues up to the final build stage. Designed-in IPC means that designers, architects, engineers, facilities managers and planners work in collaborative partnership with IPC teams to deliver facilities in which IPC needs have been planned for, anticipated and met.

 

Scope

This policy applies to all staff working within and contracted to provide construction, renovation or refurbishment projects.

 

Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: The Infection Control Team
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: April 2016
Date Issued: April 2018
Review Date: April 2019
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Ann Birler, Nurse Consultant/Deputy Director of Infection Prevention and Control