Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Clinical Programme

The aim

Tackling Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) is a priority for the HSE. The HSE established a national clinical programme for the prevention of HCAI and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) programme in late 2010.

The overarching principle of the programme is that every patient/resident/client is should receive high quality health care in a healthcare system with a visible institutional safety culture. This will ensure that there are systems in place to ensure that

  • the acquisition of preventable HCAI are minimised.
  • multidrug resistant organisms acquisition (e.g. MRSA) are minimised.
  • innappropriate antibiotic use is reduced.

The aim of the national clinical programme is to ensure that HCAI and AMR are not inevitable consequences of healthcare and that every healthcare worker in all parts of the healthcare system recognises that infection prevention is a key element of all aspects of their work. The programme aims to get back to basics, enabling staff to focus on three areas consistently and reliably every time they care for their patients.

Five Moments for Hand Hygiene from the WHO Guidelines

5 moments poster

These are 3 focus areas are:

  • Hand hygiene as outlined by the World Health Organisations ‘5 moments’.
  • Use antimicrobials appropriately (antimicrobial stewardship).
  • Prevent medical infections associated with medical devices such as intravenous lines (drips) and urinary catheters.

How it works

The programme committee consists of a multidisciplinary clinical advisory group which is based in the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. There are a number of subcommittees which work on the above 3 focus areas to:

  • Develop and provide advice on the implementation of national guidelines for infection prevention and control and antimicrobial stewardship.
  • Develop new models of care and tools that involve an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to prevention of HCAI and AMR resistance and advise on how these can be best implemented.
  • Develop and provide advice on the implementation of systems to monitor performance in relation to specified measures related to infection prevention and control.
  • Education of healthcare staff, patients and the general public on HCAI and AMR.

Recent Achievements

Click here to view our annual reports of the work done to date

Recent data reports improvements in a number of key areas:

Levels of MRSA have declined significantly in recent years.  Click here to see the  lastest reports.

Hand hygiene rates have improved.  Click here to see the latest reports.

Significant progress has been made to raise awareness about the appropriate use of antibiotics.  Click here.

Useful Information for Patients and the Public

Click here for links and information for health staff, patients and the public

Who are we

Dr. Rob Cunney
Consultant Microbiologist
Temple Street Childrens Hospital

Dr. Nuala O’Connor
(ICGP lead)

Further information on the programme sub groups can be found at:

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