Infection prevention and control community of Practice

The interest group, set up to support IPC leaders in hospices, meets twice a year.

Meetings are held at Hospice House and run from 11am to 3pm.

These sessions are highly interactive and informative, dealing with topics of national interest like the EU sharps directive and assisting with more local issues, including microwave heat pads and patients access to pets in the inpatient unit.

Details of the meetings are sent out approximately two weeks prior to the meeting date.

Upcoming 2019 Community of Practice Meetings


2 April 2019

The Spring 2019 meeting will be held at Hospice House from 11am until 3pm. As always, due to space considerations, there will be a maximum of 50 places available so book early to avoid disappointment!

Book your place here!

Previous meetings


Tuesday 20 November

We were pleased to host Jodie Maher, BARD Rep who presented a phenomenal presentation on Catheter Awareness and safety. Rick Catlin presented two items, one on Antibiotic Resistance and one on Flu Vaccines which are now available for download.

 After lunch, Marie Cooper hosted an excellent discussion section on 'Ask your Colleagues' in which the Community of Practice members had an excellent opportunity to present any quandaries they had and receive feedback and suggestions from one another.

4 April 2018 

After a call for topics to the Community of Practice, Rick Catlin presented two new items. The first presentation, Respiratory Protective Equipment discussed the processes needed for testing and fitting RPE. Please click the above link to access the presentation! The second presentation,on Carbapenmase Producing Enterobactericae (CPE) and the Toolkit needed, is accessible above.

26 September 2017

The 26 September meeting kicked off with Rick Catlin presenting on two different topics; ‘Another Pseudomonas Outbreak Story! which detailed a recent outbreak of pseudomonas involving several unrelated babies in infant ICU and the Pros and Cons of Microfibre which broke down the most commonly used methods of disinfection and documented the pros and cons of using microfibre cleaning cloths in a care environment.

Following the presentations there was a group feedback session on the Community of Practice and how it is working for the members of the community.  

The three questions posed were:

  1. What is working well?
  2. How does the IPC CoP benefit you in your work?
  3. What could we do differently to improve the meetings or the community?

For a full copy of the minutes including the discussion feedback, please download here.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. 

6 April 2017

MC welcomed everyone to the meeting.

The meeting started with a query from Julie Hughes, Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice relating to IPC policies and procedures for children’s hospices. At present the hospice delivers outreach care to children and families including respite care throughout the Childs’ care pathway and symptom care and support at end of life. They have a generic IPC policy with a number of relevant procedures for outreach care which can be transferable to inpatient care. However as their recently commissioned completed hospice build is now looking for CQC site inspection they need to produce further policies and procedures in line with the Health and Social Care Act 10 criteria and the HB note 00-09 Infection control in the built environment. She wondered if any of the CoP members would be happy to share IPC policies/procedures for children’s hospice care. They were particularly keen to determine criteria that hospices may have for transferring children in from other healthcare settings. During the meeting members of the group offered assistance.

Presentations from Rick

WHO 12 – ‘Most Wanted!’

The contents of Rick’s first presentation regarding the World Health Organisation’s priority pathogens that are now becoming more resistant to antibiotics and the need to develop new antibiotics were noted.

Reporting Changes in HCAI priorities in E-coli

This presentation gave an overview of which infections were reported to Public Health England, the results of this reporting, the introduction of reporting on E-coli infections and PHE’s new directive to reduce these infections by 50% by 2021. He suggested that the group might want to look at the PHE Fingertips website under Infection control where this information would be shown. The non trust figures will include hospices.

The group discussed the use and prescription of antibiotics and agreed that good infection prevention was key as this would reduce infection therefore reduce the need for treatment reducing the risk of CPE. 

Ellen Tummelty recommended watching the Antibiotic Guardian Video – created by colleagues at East and North Herts NHS Trust promoting antibiotic guardians. The lyrics were written by Kirstin Paisley-Pearce, an Infection Prevention and Control Nurse at the Trust and the video was made in conjunction with Think Filming.  

Hear from your colleagues

Gill Matthews – Peace Hospice Care

Gill is the Clinical Adviser on Infection Prevention and Health & Safety at Peace Hospice and she gave an overview of her role, the IPC team which includes the housekeeping manager and nurses, HCA’s and the Day Care Manager, how often they meet and how they feed into the hospice management.

The hospice use Infection Prevention Solutions for training and assistance with policies and procedures. They also do an audit once a year and the results give a plan of what needs to be done over the following year. If you are interested their website is  

Gill agreed to share their C.Diff toolkit which she adapted from Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group Clostridium Difficle Tool Kit February 2014.

As part of Infection Control Awareness for the whole hospice she holds a ‘bug busting day’ where she leaves wipes to clean the telephones and keyboards on every desk. This has proved very successful with many people coming back to request more wipes.

Anne Nash – St Christopher’s

Anne gave a presentation on the Legionella outbreak that affected St Christopher’s in 2012 including how it occurred, what they did and the lessons learned. It highlighted the importance of proper and regular training, especially for those with specific responsibilities and questioning when you see that things aren’t right rather than just ‘make do and mend’.
Anne said she and the operations manager at St Christopher’s would be happy to talk to anyone who wanted to know more. To do so just email Amber who will forward the query on. 

11 October 2016

MC welcomed everyone to the meeting.
MC gave an overview of the Resilience Webinar programme that started on 6 October 2016. She encouraged everyone to take a look and to register for the remaining webinars. More information, including access to the video of the last webinar can be found on the workforce pages of our website.

She also advised that the ECLiHP forum had been merged with the Care and Clinical forum on Hospice IQ. She encouraged the group to take a look and upload resources.

She also reminded everyone about the Patient First event on 22 November 2016.

Water hygiene including Legionella, pseudomonas, in both wards and community care

The contents of the presentation on Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Legionalla were noted.
Following the presentation there was a discussion and the following points were raised:

  • If you suspect a patient of being infected with Pseudomonas should you isolate – Look at the chain of transmission, if it cannot be controlled then yes.
  • Use of hot tubs and Jacuzzis.
  • This is ok as long as you have a good cleaning routine. You can get Jacuzzis that self clean after every use.
  • To avoid legionella you should have a good flushing routine.

Hear from your colleagues

Shirley Balmer – Queenscourt Hospice

Forensic Attention To Detail:  Lessons learned from a Clostridium Difficile outbreak in a hospice setting

The contents of Shirley’s presentation on the CDiff outbreak they had at their hospices and the lessons learnt were noted.

Denise Condick – St Margaret’s Hospice

South West – Infection Control Forum

The contents of Denise’s presentation on the South West IPC forum where SW hospices meet to share issues, resources and benchmark audits were noted.

MC thanked Shirley and Denise for their presentations and asked if anyone else would like to present at the next meeting.


The contents of the presentation on vaccines for staff were noted. He confirmed the employer is responsible for ensuring that staff are working in a safe fashion under CoSHH (2002). The presentation concentrated on ‘selected’ vaccines BCG, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Varicella rather than the routine vaccines which most people will have. These vaccines should be given to staff with direct patient care.

RC confirmed that the employer is not responsible for routine vaccinations. It was asked if volunteers would qualify, RC advised that the hospice should look at the expectation of risk and whether the volunteer was involved in direct patient care, dealing with blood or body fluids.

If you were employing staff from abroad you may want to check that they have had all the routine vaccination before they start work, however agencies may already do this.


MC asked the group to email herself and Amber with suggestions for the next meeting or to volunteer to give a presentation on a piece of work at their hospice. Sepsis was suggested.

Date of next meeting

To be confirmed.

19 April 2016

MC welcomed everyone to the meeting. Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising
The contents of the presentation showing the results of the IPC survey were noted. MC thanked everyone who took part. The group then discussed the findings and agreed that the group and meetings were valued. It was suggested that we could offer a certificate of attendance, possibly using the NMC template for the participatory part of the meeting as this allows a reflective account on the back. MC suggested that we had some presentations from members of the group to help share good practice and asked for volunteers.

Dan Ward, Head of Publishing, gave an overview of Hospice IQ a web based service which would allow members to upload policies, job descriptions and training documents that they would like to share with other hospices and a forum facility which would take over from the email Q&A.

MC reviewed information on Communities of Practice (CoP) as this group would become the IPC CoP instead of an interest group.

She also advised that we have been offered 50 free places at the Patient First event on 22 and 23 November. We will be holding a networking meeting on 22 November and IPC members are welcome to attend. More information will be sent out in due course. This meeting will be held in addition to the October meeting.

Group work

MC asked the group to break into smaller groups and discuss one of the following activities:

  • One which challenged you.
  • One which evidenced your robust IPC processes.
  • Something new you have learnt (for example, a good resource).
  • A new development you would like to introduce at work.
  • How more could the IPC group be doing to support you in your role?

The group then feedback one of the points discussed. There was also a discussion on FIT testing and whether it was necessary in hospices. It was suggested that it would be better to carry out a risk assessment and make a decision should a high risk patient be referred.

Disinfectants verses detergents

The contents of the presentation on disinfectants verses detergents was noted giving an overview on cleaning including what is best to clean what, how to clean and when items should be cleaned.

RC emphasised that all items should be cleaned, before they are disinfected. He went on to give examples of different cleaning products giving the pros and cons of each. He also emphasised the importance of the cleaning staff and that they should be trained in cleaning methods used by the NHS in hospitals.


This presentation will be made at the next meeting in October, however you can view the prepared presentation. Should this raise any comments or queries please email Amber Morgan who can pass them to Rick who can include them when he discusses this topic in the October meeting.  

Water hygiene

The presentation on 'Water hygiene including Legionella, pseudomonas, in both wards and community care' was postponed until the October meeting.

Feedback from forum questions

 A summary of the queries from October 2015 to April 2016 has been disseminated to the group. There was no further discussion on this topic. If you haven't received a copy please contact us.


MC asked the group if people have a separate freezer for icepacks. The consensus was yes and it was kept in the clinical room.

It was agreed that the topics covered in the next meeting would be on water hygiene including Legionella, pseudomonas, and Vaccines. We also hope that there will be short presentations from members of the group on work they are currently doing. If you would be interested in presenting at a meeting please contact us.

Date of next meeting

  • Tuesday 11 October 2016 at Hospice UK

There is also a networking meeting on Wednesday 22 November 2016 at the Patient First conference, London Excel.


What does hospice care mean to you?