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RCN Wales calls for investment in infection prevention and control

In its newly-published report, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in Wales recommends that learning from the COVID-19 pandemic is used to ensure that infection prevention and control (IPC) nursing teams are recognised as an essential contributor to patient protection and safety.

The report recommends that the Welsh Government, NHS Wales, Public Health Wales, employers and relevant agencies:

  • Value and respect the necessity of IPC nursing advice at national and local levels
  • Support the expansion of the IPC workforce
  • Ensure a whole-system approach to IPC by reviewing the Code of Practice (Wales)
  • Look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic to integrate IPC into the delivery of patient safety

Helen Whyley, Director of the RCN in Wales, said: “Infection prevention and control nurses at all levels within the health and social care sector have been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of IPC nursing advice, which is fundamental to ensuring the safety of patients, health and care workers and the general public.

“It is now crucial that the Welsh Government draws on lessons learned throughout this pandemic and invest in the existing workforce, which is dedicated but exhausted, and in the recruitment of more expert IPC nursing staff to meet future demand. In particular every health board should have a Consultant IPC nurse and build succession planning into their commissioned care plans. Investing in IPC nurse consultants means making infection prevention and control a priority in health and social care.”

For more information on the report please visit RCN (