Useful resources for healthcare professionals

General Practice Annual audit template

There is a statuary requirement for all providers to carry out an annual infection prevention and control audit.  There is no agreed format or content for the audit, however the CCG has edited an audit created by the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) which can be used by practices if they wish.  Following the completion of the annual audit, practices should create an action plan to address the areas identified as requiring improvement.  Where there are risks identified, a risk assessment can be used to document the risk and actions being taken to mitigate the risk.

Annual audit:  Primary Care Audit Tools 2016.xls [xls] 281KB
Action plan template:  Template action plan.docx [docx] 16KB
Risk assessment template Risk assessment template for primary care.docx [docx] 133KB and example  Risk assessment template for primary care - EXAMPLE.docx [docx] 27KB

Primary Care Infection Prevention and Control Policy

The Infection Control Leads (IC leads) forum members have agreed an Infection Prevention and Control Policy (General Practice -Example IC Policy Oct 2016 V2 (1).docx [docx] 5MB) which can be used by any GP practice within the West Hampshire CCG area.  The ownership and responsibility for updating the policy (every two years) is held by the IC leads.  WHCCG will facilitate the regular review of the policy via the IC leads forums.  IC leads are not required to use the policy within their practice.


Cold chain diagram Cold Chain 

Maintaining the cold chain is critical to vaccine effectiveness. Responsibility and liability for the storage and appropriate use of vaccines rests with the immunising practitioner and health service provider so it is essential that all national and manufacturers guidance is adhered to. This cold chain resource covers the following topics ( Cold Chain Information and resources pack 2016 V1.0 FINAL.pdf [pdf] 2MB ):

Cold chain management principles:

  • Correct storage
  • Temperature monitoring (including example recording charts)
  • Transportation of vaccines outside of the practice
  • Managing a chain chain breach, including using vaccines out of label

Water Safety (Legionnaires' Disease) in Primary Care

Primary Care practices have a duty to ensure that their water systems do not pose a risk to the health and safety of employees and visitors (e.g. patients, hosted staff and contractors) from Legionella bacteria under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) and the Health & Safety at Work Act.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) also expects practices to fulfill these obligations to demonstrate compliance with the essential standards of quality and safety (Outcome 8: cleanliness and infection control and Outcome 10: safety and suitability of premises).

All water systems in Primary Care practices require a risk assessment. However not all systems will require elaborate control measures and responses and actions should be proportionate to the identified risk. A simple risk assessment may show that the risks are low and being properly managed to comply with the law. It is likely to that most practices will not require anything more than a basic local risk assessment and simple in-house control measures.

This document ( Water Safety Pseudomonas and Legionella v3.pdf [pdf] 405KB ) is a summary designed to introduce Primary Care practices to the requirements around water safety and help practices determine whether external consultation is proportionate and necessary. Please also use this link to the Wessex LMC.

CQC logo Care Quality Commissioning Registration

  • Infection Prevention & Control in Primary Care - Themes from the CQC visits to Primary Care; November 2014 – January 2015

This link ( CQC Summary Reports for Primary Care November 2014 - January 2015 (4).docx [docx] 5MB ) is for use by Practice managers and Infection Control Leads and summarises some of good practice the CQC have found during Primary Care inspections with details of some aspects of practice that generated action or enforcement notices. This summary highlights where there has been either a change in focus from CQC or renewed emphasis and scrutiny on an existing issue. This summary should be read in conjunction with the previous report (April 2014).  CQC Summary Reports for Primary Care.pdf [pdf] 439KB

  • Infection Prevention & Control in Primary Care - Themes from the CQC visits to Primary Care; March 2014 - April 2014

To help practices gain an understanding of what the CQC expect, a summary of some of the compliant findings from the CQC visits has been compiled together with details of some aspects of practice that generated action or enforcement notices. For ease, these have been grouped together into topics and the most prevalent themes have been highlighted. This document is not exhaustive and practices need to ensure that they comply with all of the Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections but this summary will hopefully help practices to understand what the CQC have been looking at.


Clinical Best Practice Guidelines 
Skin preparation image

  • Surgical Site Skin Preparation – Current Evidence and Recommendations

There is currently a lack of good quality, controlled studies comparing skin preparation regimes for surgical procedures and surgical site infection outcomes.

Many different commercial solutions are available and clinicians may be unsure what is the best disinfectant preparation to use. This document ( Skin Prep Best Practice Guidance (final version).pdf [pdf] 360KB ) compiles the latest NICE recommendations and summarises the best existing evidence to allow clinicians performing minor surgery procedures in primary care to make an informed choice over skin preparation based on the available knowledge to date.


  • Best Practice Guidelines for Phlebotomy (Infection Prevention and Control)

The CCG has put together a two page summary ( Best Practice in Phlebotomy Practice Guidelines.pdf [pdf] 248KB ) of the infection control guidance provided in the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION guidelines on drawing blood: best practices in phlebotomy 2010.

These are best practice guidelines, rather than national standards. However, practices should be achieving or working towards the best practice recommendations to protect patients and staff, or have a risk assessment in place where the guidance cannot be adhered to.

For practices or federations undertaking phlebotomy, two audit tools (for premises and practice) are also available here: Phlebotomy Audit Tool.docx [docx] 138KB .

Cover your cough poster Posters for generic use

NPSA colour-coding for cleaning materials  National colour coding scheme.pdf [pdf] 308KB
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) CDC  ppe-poster.pdf [pdf] 2MB
Segregation of healthcare waste  Segregation of Healthcare Waste Poster Colour.pdf [pdf] 356KB
Splash and Sharps Injury  Sharps Safe EU Directive.pdf [pdf] 131KB
Cover your Cough  Cover your Cough Poster.pdf [pdf] 363KB
Hand gel  Hand Gel Poster.pdf [pdf] 254KB

Viral Haemorrhagic Fever  -  Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)

Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) imported into the United Kingdom (UK) are an extremely rare event and there have been no cases of person-to-person transmission in the UK to date. Even with the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, it remains unlikely, although not impossible, that Primary Care services will see imported cases.

Current Public Health England (PHE) guidance prepared in conjunction with the GPC of the British Medical Association around managing patients who require assessment for EVD in primary care is available here:

Supplementary Guidance: Preparing for Ebola Virus Disease in Primary Care  Supplementary Guidance Preparing for Ebloa in Primary Care WP.pdf [pdf] 320KB
Supplementary Guidance: Actions for Practices  Supplementary Guidance Action for Practices.pdf [pdf] 189KB
Supplementary Guidance: Practical Patient Management  Supplementary Guidance Practical Patient Management.pdf [pdf] 300KB
Supplementary Guidance: Staff Protection  Supplementary Guidance Staff Protection.pdf [pdf] 360KB
Supplementary Guidance: Cleaning and Decontamination  Supplementary Guidance Cleaning and Decontamination.pdf [pdf] 208KB
Supplementary Guidance: What is happening when people enter the UK from an affected country?  Supplementary Guidance Screening people from an affected country.pdf [pdf] 291KB

Key Messages:

Ebola virus is only spread through symptomatic individuals. Asymptomatic contacts of Ebola virus cases do not pose an immediate public health risk
Person-to-person transmission of Ebola virus is by direct contact with blood or body fluids of a symptomatic person (e.g. saliva, vomitus, urine, stool, semen) or indirect contact with contaminated clothing / equipment
There is no evidence of transmission of Ebola virus through intact skin (i.e. social contact) or small droplet spread such as coughing or sneezing
The onset of illness is sudden, with fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat and intense weakness. The risk of a symptomatic patient presenting to Primary Care with the additional progressive symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, rash and internal and external bleeding is extremely low

ebola contact details