A national survey of infection control and antimicrobial stewardship structures in Irish long-term care facilities

Published:November 12, 2012DOI:


      Information on infection prevention and control (IPC) and antimicrobial stewardship activities in Irish long-term care facilities (LTCFs) is limited.


      A survey detailing IPC and antimicrobial stewardship activities, including staffing and bed capacity, was circulated to Irish LTCFs.


      Sixty-nine LTCFs (61 public, 8 private) were surveyed, 56 (81%) of which had an IPC practitioner. Thirty-five (51%) LTCFs had an IPC committee that met on average 5 times (range, 1-10) during the previous year. LTCFs with IPC practitioners based solely in the facility (n = 17) were more likely to have an IPC committee (P = .027). Antimicrobial guidelines were available in 28% (n = 19) and 16% (n = 11) had an antimicrobial stewardship committee in place. Medical care was provided by general practitioners in 51% (n = 35), by physicians employed by the LTCFs in 35% (n = 24), or by both in 14% (n = 10). Medical care and activities were coordinated in 45% (n = 31) of LTCFs. These LTCFs were more likely to have an IPC committee (P < .001), medical staff training (P < .001), and antimicrobial guidelines (P = .005) in place.


      There are significant gaps in Irish LTCFs’ IPC and antibiotic stewardship programs and governance structures, highlighting the need for specific LTCF national initiatives.

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