Infection prevention and control

Infection prevention and control is vital to the wellbeing of people who need care and support.

In order to receive safe and effective care, infection prevention and control must be part of everyday practice and be applied consistently by everyone.

Find out who's eligible for a flu jab here.

Download resources to raise awareness in your service here

Lots of people who use and work in adult social care services are at risk of flu this winter. The vaccine is available on the NHS to protect people at risk of flu and its complications.

We’re calling on adult social care employers to help us to encourage their staff and people who use their service to get a free flu jab.

Employer responsibilities

The Department of Health and Social Care states that frontline health and social care workers should be provided with flu vaccinations by their employer. This should complement any existing occupational health and/or wellbeing schemes. 

You can make arrangements to have flu jabs carried out in the workplace, arranged through a private healthcare provider or you can purchase vouchers for your staff to use at participating pharmacies.

If you support people who are eligible for a free flu jab, such as people aged over 65, people with a range of eligible medical conditions, or those living in residential or hospice care, it’s also good practice to encourage them to get a free flu jab.

Why is it important?

Flu can be more severe for certain people, such as anyone aged 65 or over and people with an underlying health condition. People in these risk groups are more likely to develop serious complications of flu, such as pneumonia - the UK Government estimates that an average of 8,000 people die from the virus in the UK each year. It’s important that they get the flu jab every year to help protect them.

Frontline care staff often work with people who are in these risk groups, so getting a flu jab can help to prevent the virus spreading and ensure that you keep a healthy workforce this winter. With an average recovery time of between one-two weeks, reducing sickness leave from the flu can save you between £875-1,751 per employee. 

Who should get the flu jab? 

The flu jab is routinely given on the NHS to people in risk groups such as: 

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions, such as those with chronic long-term respiratory disease, liver disease, neurological disease, a learning disability or a weakened immune system
  • people living in long-term residential care
  • frontline health and social care workers who support people at risk. 

You can read more about who’s eligible for a free flu jab here

Tips to raise awareness with staff

  • Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England to promote the free flu jab with staff in your service.
  • Put a poster up in your staffroom.
  • Encourage staff to wear a sticker when they’ve had a flu jab, to raise awareness.
  • Highlight the importance of having a flu jab in team meetings, supervisions and other opportunities.
  • Nominate a champion who supports the campaign and reminds colleagues in the workplace.
  • Post about the flu jab on social media – download images and animations to use on social media here.
  • Include an article about the flu jab in your staff newsletter.

Tips to raise awareness with people who use your service and families 

  • Download free posters and postcards from Public Health England to promote the free flu jab to the people you support and their families.
  • Talk to the people you support and their families about getting the free flu jab – this could be as a part of a care plan review or one-to-one conversations.
  • Put a poster up on your workplace noticeboard.
  • Include information about the flu jab in your newsletter.
  • Consider how you can support the people who use your service to access a flu jab, if needed. 

 

Standard 15 of the Care Certificate, the standards for new staff in health and social care roles, focuses on infection, prevention and control.

We have practical resources and workbooks to help you to implement the Care Certificate as part of induction.

Find out more about the Care Certificate.

 

National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) have produced a useful quick guide called Helping to prevent Infection

 

 We can help you choose the right learning and the right provider for you.

Our ‘Guide to developing your staff’ can help you plan, select and evaluate the right learning for your staff and service.

We can also help you to find high quality learning providers. Skills for Care Endorsement finds and badges learning providers who we see as the best. Our endorsed providers deliver high quality learning and development to the social care sector.

Search for endorsed providers in our online directory.