A teal and white icon representing Infection, Prevention and Control workflow of the UKOT Public Health Network.



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What is infection Prevention and Control?

Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a practical, evidence-based approach preventing patients, staff and the general public from being harmed by avoidable infections.

Effective IPC needs constant action at all levels of the health system, including policymakers, facility managers, health workers and those who access health services. IPC is unique in the field of patient safety and quality of care. It is relevant to every health worker and patient, at every health care interaction. It is also relevant outside of healthcare, in homes and community settings.

Defective IPC causes harm. Healthcare associated infections are among the most frequently reported adverse events in healthcare delivery. Without effective IPC it is impossible to achieve quality health care delivery. 


Programme Scope


  • This workstream focuses on collaborating with IPC leads and focal points in the UKOTs to develop and implement the IPC elements needed for International Health Regulation (IHR) strengthening, as well as providing a point of contact for technical support and advice for best, evidence-based practice in IPC.

    Elements within the IHR, relating to IPC include compliance with the WHO core components for IPC programmes. The overall aims are improving safety for individuals and the wider population by having robust systems and processes in place to reduce and prevent the spread of infections. Early identification, treatment, and control of infection risks as well as appropriate reporting mechanisms in place for escalation and communication are also key.

    Initiatives for reducing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – the threat of which is a global health emergency, declared by WHO as one of the top ten public health threats facing humanity are inextricably linked with improving IPC effectiveness. Preventing infections reduces antimicrobial use and therefore the risk of AMR. Reducing AMR reduced the risk of life-threatening infections which could be transmitted to others.


Workstream Focus


  • To support IPC focal points and leads as needed with developing evidence-based IPC programmes, policies, and initiatives to improve compliance with IHR and patient safety.
  • To provide support for situational analysis of IPC programmes to identify areas for improvement and action plan development.
  • To develop and maintain an IPC and AMR UKOT network for peer support, educational opportunities, and professional development.

 Example Projects

  • Supported baseline self-assessments of IPC status using the WHO national and facility level tools in 4 UKOT’s which helps local programme development.
  • Baseline survey of IPC quality assurance audits undertaken across the UKOTs. 
  • Respiratory protection programme training in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) delivered in Turks and Caicos Islands and British Virgin Islands. 
  • Mpox training delivered in response to outbreak threat.
  • Collaborative work with PAHO to increase access across the UKOTs to their 6-week basic IPC course. 


The IPC and AMR network is for UKOT IPC and AMR focal points, leads and practitioners, including those where IPC or AMR is just part of their remit in any setting (national, facility or community). Membership is also open to other stakeholders on request. The purpose of the network is to:

  • Provide peer support for IPC and AMR leads and practitioners
  • Facilitate shared learning between organisations and territories
  • Advance the development of improved IPC and AMR practices within the UKOT’s
  • Provide a safe forum for discussing challenges and possible solutions
  • Facilitate training and educational opportunities

The network meets every 6-8 weeks with the secretariat provided by UKHSA, chaired by UKHSA IPC specialist. For more information or to join the UKOTs IPC & AMR Network please email UKOTs.Programme@ukhsa.gov.uk

Training Opportunities

  • NHS England – e-learning for health modules: Used by NHS England, all healthcare staff in the UKOT’s have access to the same online learning modules for free. Staff need to register with their government or hospital organisation e-mail address. When registering please select the ‘overseas’ options for workplace, and if you are a registered member of staff, please ensure you select the option which clearly states you are an ‘overseas nurse’ or ‘overseas Doctor’. Doing so will ensure that you are not asked for a UK registration number. 
  • OpenWHO: Infection, Prevention and Control
  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Nonsterile disposable glove use Fundamentals. This course is free to access and designed for all staff and care settings. 

UKOT Sourced Training

UKOT IPC lead is happy to support development of local training, or support individual leads / focal points with mentoring.

There is a respiratory protection programme training available through the UKOT programme.

Additional webinars that may be of interest are circulated through the IPC & AMR network.


Key resources