Infection prevention and control: Current legislation and regulatory body standards - Level 2 Diploma in Care

Outline current legislation and regulatory body standards which are relevant to the prevention and control of infection

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To have a good understanding of the prevention and control of infection, it is important that you can outline current and relevant legislation and regulatory body standards.

The primary piece of legislation that underpins the health and safety of yourself and others including risk of infection is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This makes it an employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees, clients and the general public are protected from harm as much as possible and that potential risks are appropriately risk-assessed. It is also the responsibility of employees to work in a safe way and report any concerns they have.

Other legislation that comes under the Health and Safety at Work Act that relates to infection prevention and control includes:

  • Food Safety Act 1990 – Food intended for human consumption must comply with food safety requirements
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – Health and safety monitoring and risk assessment
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) – Diseases and illnesses must be reported
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) – Governs the safe usage and storage of hazardous substances
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 2002 (PUWER) – Employers must provide equipment and provide suitable training in their usage.
  • The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – Employers must provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and train staff in their use

In addition, the Health and Social Care Act 2008 requires NHS trusts to have clear arrangements for the effective prevention, detection and control of healthcare associated infections.

Health and safety at work is governed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They are a government agency that promote the prevention of work-related death, injury and ill-health by providing free information and have legal powers to enforce it.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates all organisations that provide care services. All care providers must be registered with CQC and regularly inspected by them. They have legal powers to work with or shut down organisations that do not meet the required standards of safety and care.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) provides information on food hygiene and safety as well as having powers of enforcement.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has the role of improving outcomes for people using public health and social care services by providing information, advice and guidance and developing quality standards and performance metrics.

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