New guidelines published by WHO draw on the work of GCU research

15 November 2016

New guidelines published by WHO draw on the work of GCU research

GCU’s Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) Research Group.

An evidence review commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and conducted by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is part of a new set of global guidelines issued by WHO to support every country and healthcare facility developing infection prevention and control programmes.

GCU’s Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) Research Group carried out a systematic review into the effectiveness of national-level infection prevention control programmes, with experts Dr Lesley Price and Professor Jacqui Reilly presenting  their evidence to  the International Guideline Development Committee in Geneva. This work is now included within WHO’s new Guidelines on Core Components of Infection Prevention and Control Programmes at the National and Acute Health Care Facility Level. 

Professor Benedetta Allegranzi said: “These guidelines are the culmination of a year-long initiative which has seen the active support, collaboration and technical expert input of a range of organisations including the US Center for Disease Control and has brought together scientists, academics, policy makers and patient representatives to systematically consider the evidence and experiences on what makes infection prevention and control programmes work. They focus on eight critical areas for action (Infection Prevention and Control Programmes; Evidence Based Guidelines; Education and Training; Surveillance; Multimodal Strategies; Monitoring, Audit and Feedback; Workload, Staffing and Bed Occupancy and the Built Environment, Materials and Equipment) that if implemented will save lives in every country of the world".

These guidelines will be issued worldwide to promote strong, effective and evidence-based infection prevention and control programmes and practices forming a key part of the necessary strategies to prevent current and future infectious threats, including antimicrobial resistance  and outbreaks of highly transmissible diseases such as Ebola.  

It is intended that WHO’s guidelines will support countries and health care facilities as they develop or strengthen their own approaches to infection prevention and control, including the development of AMR National Action Plans to combat antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Lesley Price said: "Countries should adopt these guidelines to ensure that worldwide patients and members of the public directly benefit.”

GCU-led research has reduced avoidable infections in healthcare in the UK and Europe by stimulating policy debate and investment in new healthcare practice and influencing policy decisions, evidence guidelines, and educational practices.

A recent study by the research group on hand-hygiene technique provided  the first evidence supporting  the WHO six-step hand-hygiene technique from a pragmatic randomised controlled trial. This was used by GCU nurses last year, when they set a new Guinness World Record for the most participants in a hand sanitising relay, in partnership with Glasgow City of Science and Health Protection Scotland.

WHO’s guidelines will be released during World Antibiotic Awareness Week on Tuesday, November 15 and can be accessed here 


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