Care home residents share air, space, food and equipment, so they also share organisms that can easily cause infection outbreaks, such as viruses and bacteria. They are also more prone and vulnerable to infections, which can lead to death. Care home staff therefore need to be adequately trained to prevent, detect and manage an outbreak of infectious disease, and care homes must have an outbreak plan ready, to minimise the number of people affected and the harm done. This article summarises the principles of outbreak prevention, preparedness, detection and management, highlighting key practical guidance.

Citation: Curran ET (2017) Infection outbreaks in care homes: prevention and management. Nursing Times [online]; 113: 9, 18-21.

Author: Evonne T Curran is an independent infection control nurse consultant and honorary senior research fellow, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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