The Department of Health has published the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance which follows the public consultation which closed on 15 July 2010. The Code of Practice comes into force on 1 April 2011 for existing registered providers and primary dental care and independent sector ambulance providers and on 1 April 2012 for primary medical care providers.

The Code of Practice sets out the criteria against which the Care Quality Commission will assess whether a registered provider complies with cleanliness and infection control requirements. The content of the code is essentially unchanged although the information to clarify how it applies to different providing sectors has been expanded and restructured. In addition, some minor changes have been made to the impact assessment.

Specific changes are as follows:  

  • the introduction to the code and specific text in Part 3 have been revised and reworked to ensure greater clarity and applicability;
  • a new appendix has been added to clarify interpretation for providers of independent sector ambulance services by giving specific worked examples;
  • other appendices have been re-worked making them more comprehensive to aid clarity of interpretation and emphasise proportionality;
  • definitions have been added, amended and clarified where possible; and
  • all tables have been revised to improve understanding and to facilitate decisions for local determination based on local circumstances.