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Building new hospitals: a UK infection control perspective

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Katherine Orr


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Infection control input is vital throughout the planning, design and building stages of a new hospital project, and must continue through the commissioning (and decommissioning) process, evaluation and putting the facility into full clinical service. Many hospitals continue to experience problems months or years after occupying the new premises; some of these could have been avoided by infection control involvement earlier in the project. The importance of infection control must be recognized by the chief executive of the hospital trust and project teams overseeing the development. Clinical, user groups and contractors must also be made aware of infection control issues. It is vital that good working relationships are built up between the infection control team (ICT) and all these parties. ICTs need the authority to influence the process. This may require their specific recognition by the Private Finance Initiative National Unit, the Department of Health or other relevant authorities. ICTs need training in how to read design plans, how to write effective specifications, and in other areas with which they may be unfamiliar. The importance of documentation and record keeping is paramount. External, or independent validation of processes should be available, particularly in commissioning processes. Building design in relation to infection control needs stricter national regulations, allowing ICTs to focus on more local usage issues. Further research is needed to provide evidence regarding the retationship between building design and the prevalence of infection. (c) 2005 The Hospital Infection Society. Pubtished by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stockley JM, Constantine CE, Orr KE, The Association of Medical Microbiologists' New Hospital Developments Project Group

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hospital Infection

Year: 2006

Volume: 62

Issue: 3

Pages: 285-299

ISSN (print): 0195-6701

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2939


DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2005.03.015


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