Little research has been completed to assess the numbers of infection prevention and control personnel employed or optimal size and composition of infection control teams.
Acute national health hospital organizations in England were requested to provide information about the numbers of infection prevention and control personnel employed and weekly hours contributed by each occupational group under the United Kingdom’s Freedom of Information legislation. The relationship between capacity of the infection prevention and control workforce, size of the inpatient population, and routinely collected surveillance data for health care–associated infection were explored.
There were 137 (85%) National Health Service (NHS) hospital organizations that responded. The number of infection prevention and control nurses ranged from 1-16 per organization. A total of 46 (33.6%) reported that they received no clinical microbiology sessions, and for 11 (8%) input was inadequate. An antibiotic pharmacist was reported to be employed in 107 (78.1%) organizations. Few infection prevention and control teams reported receiving the following: 1. managerial support, 2. being represented on committees where decisions about resource allocation were made, or 3. assistance with administration.
Despite the priority that infection prevention and control have received in the United Kingdom over the last 10 years, many infection prevention and control teams appear underresourced.
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Published online: September 18, 2014
Conflicts of interest: No conflicts of interest are declared.
Funding: Funding to support this study was provided by a research development grant from the National Institute for Social and Health Research in Wales.
© 2014 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.