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Good infection prevention (including cleanliness) is essential to ensure that people who use Health and Social Care services receive safe and effective care.  Effective prevention and control of infection must be part of everyday practice and should be applied consistently by everyone. Good management and organisational processes are crucial to make sure that high standards of infection prevention (including cleanliness) are developed and maintained.

We have developed a Primary Care Good Practice Guide for Infection Prevention & Control, which is a tool kit and collection of information gained from the NICE website (NICE 2019) and links to other national IP&C guidelines, policies and resources from the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England and Improvement. You can also download this document from the resource box below.

Infection Prevention & Control Link Practitioner Information

View the latest infection Prevention & Control Newsletter

Education and Training Presentations

National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021

NHS England » Our commitment to cleanliness
NHS England » National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021
NHS England » National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021: Supporting documents

Health and Social Care Act 2008

The document below sets out the Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections, under The Health and Social Care Act 2008. It will apply to registered providers of all healthcare and adult social care in England. The Code of Practice (Part 2) sets out the 10 criteria against which the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will judge a registered provider on how it complies with the infection prevention requirements, which is set out in regulations. To ensure that consistently high levels of infection prevention (including cleanliness) are developed and maintained, it is essential that all providers of health and social care read and consider the whole document and its application in the appropriate sector and not just selective parts.

Parts 3 and 4 of this document will help registered providers interpret the criteria and develop their own risk assessments.

The code applies to NHS bodies and providers of independent healthcare and adult social care in England, including primary dental care, independent sector ambulance providers and primary medical care providers

The importance of Hand Hygiene

Each year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections (HCAIs).  Most health care-associated infections are preventable through good hand hygiene – cleaning hands at the right times and in the right way. 

The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene emerged from the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care to add value to any hand hygiene improvement strategy. Quite simply, it defines the key moments for hand hygiene, overcoming misleading language and complicated descriptions. It presents a unified vision and promotes a strong sense of ownership. 

Not only does the Five Moments align with the evidence base concerning the spread of HCAI but it is interwoven with the natural workflow of care and is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings.  More information about the Five Moments is available on our Health Advice and Guidance page.

Further information and links to resources

Click on the + button to the right to expand a list of useful links

Standard Precautions including Personal Protective Equipment

The NHS Improvement national hand hygiene and personal protective equipment policy


This guidance from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is for anyone responsible for the sterilization of equipment or infection control. All staff involved in these areas should be trained to ensure that standards are met.

Health and Safety Executive – Methods of Decontamination

Safe handling and disposal of waste

Management and Disposal of Healthcare Waste

Respiratory Hygiene

Guidance on transmission routes and precautions in healthcare settings.

Catch It, Bin It, Kill It” Poster

Water hygiene

The Health and Safety Executive link below provides practical advice and guidance to control the risks from exposure to Legionella in man-made water systems:

Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems – Approved Code of Practice and guidance

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

The following link provides practical advice and guidance on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

Managing common infections: guidance for primary care

Guidance for managing common infections, including upper and lower respiratory, and urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infection: diagnostic tools for primary care

Quick reference materials for primary care on diagnosing and understanding culture results for urinary tract infections (UTI)

Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) Surveillance in Primary Care

The Root Cause Analysis tool below is for primary care providers in the event of being asked to do a Root Cause Analysis or Post Infection Review. 

GP C Diff RCA Tool

Infection Control Audit

IPS Audit Tool for Primary Care

National and international IP&C resources, guidance documents and useful websites

National Infection Prevention and Control manual for England (April 2022)

Antibiotic resistance  

A document which explains the ambitions and actions for the next 5 years, supporting the 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance (AMR):

UK 5-year action plan for antimicrobial resistance 2019 to 2024

How the UK will contribute to containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by 2040:

UK 20-year Vision for Antimicrobial Resistance

Video explaining antibiotic resistance and offering advice (PHE)

Infection. Prevention. Control.

A website that offers bespoke training and consultancy services, as well as a variety of downloadable resources for primary care who are employed by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and are commissioned to provide IP&C services in North Yorkshire covering Health and Social Care settings. In addition to covering the local area of North Yorkshire and York, the team offers services nationally.

Royal College of Nursing

RCN Infection Prevention and Control documents and training resources recognised by the CQC

NHS National Services Scotland – National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

Patient information from the Infection Prevention Society (IPS): Managing Your Infection


Measles: guidance, data and analysis

Leaflets and posters for GP practices: