Should the Care Quality Commission (CQC) be required to investigate a registered healthcare provider, The Code must legally be taken into account when making a decision on a therapist’s fulfilment of their infection prevention requirements.

It is strongly recommended all therapists are across their legal obligations, which are outlined here.


An Overview of the Code:

The main purposes of The Code are to:

  • “make the registration requirements relating to infection prevention clear to all registered providers so that they understand what they need to do to comply;
  • provide guidance for the CQC’s staff to make judgement about compliance with the requirements for infection prevention;
  • provide information for people who use the services of a registered provider;
  • provide information for commissioners of services on what they should expect of their providers; and
  • provide information for the general public.”¹

The Code stipulates that all registered providers/healthcare organisations will need to have “adequate systems for infection prevention”¹. They must also have regard to The Code when implementing infection prevention and control policies in their healthcare facility.

The infection risks associated with the healthcare service provided will determine how much of The Code will be relevant to each practitioner. For example, the policies and procedures associated with infection control in an acute surgical setting, where there are open wounds and invasive medical devices, will be different to that of a care home setting. The Code provides ¹0 compliance criterion for providers as well as guidance on how to implement policies and procedures to fulfil them.

Therapists should observe the criteria and ensure they’re compliant in all relevant areas. The CQC has the power to prosecute those who fall short of meeting the regulations, where it leads to avoidable harm, or even “the significant risk of such harm”¹.

The Code stipulates that all registered providers/healthcare organisations will need to have “adequate systems for infection prevention”¹. They must also have regard to The Code when implementing infection prevention and control policies in their healthcare facility.

The infection risks associated with the healthcare service provided will determine how much of The Code will be relevant to each practitioner. For example, the policies and procedures associated with infection control in an acute surgical setting, where there are open wounds and invasive medical devices, will be different to that of a care home setting.

The Code provides ¹0 compliance criterion for providers as well as guidance on how to implement policies and procedures to fulfil them.

Therapists should observe the criteria and ensure they’re compliant in all relevant areas. The CQC has the power to prosecute those who fall short of meeting the regulations, where it leads to avoidable harm, or even “the significant risk of such harm”¹.


The 10 Compliance Criterion

Compliance criterion

What the registered provider will need to demonstrate

1

Systems to manage and monitor the prevention and control of infection. These systems use risk assessments and consider the susceptibility of service users and any risks that their environment and other users may pose to them.

2

Provide and maintain a clean and appropriate environment in managed premises that facilitates the prevention and control of infections.

3

Ensure appropriate antimicrobial use to optimise patient outcomes and to reduce the risk of adverse events and antimicrobial resistance.

4

Provide suitable accurate information on infections to service users, their visitors and any person concerned with providing further support or nursing/ medical care in a timely fashion.

5

Ensure prompt identification of people who have or are at risk of developing an infection so that they receive timely and appropriate treatment to reduce the risk of transmitting infection to other people.

6

Systems to ensure that all care workers (including contractors and volunteers) are aware of and discharge their responsibilities in the process of preventing and controlling infection.

7

Provide or secure adequate isolation facilities.

8

Secure adequate access to laboratory support as appropriate.

9

Have and adhere to policies, designed for the individual’s care and provider organisations that will help to prevent and control infections.

10

Providers have a system in place to manage the occupational health needs and obligations of staff in relation to infection.

 


References

1. Public and International Health Directorate (2015) The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice of the prevention and control of infections and related guidance. Accessed December 2020. Available from: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/449049/Code_of_practice_280715_acc.pdf