Review - Reviewer's Assessment

1. Short summary / abstract
The report provides guidance on infection prevention and control precautions that should be applied by healthcare staff while caring for all patients in the hospital environment. The recommendations are divided into four interventions: -
Intervention 1: Standard principles for hospital environmental hygiene
Intervention 2: Standard principles for for hand hygiene
Intervention 3: Standard principles for the use of personal protective equipment
Intervention 4: Standard principles for the safe use and disposal of sharps
The recommendations are not detailed practice protocols and therefore should be incorporated into local infection control policies/guidelines

2. What question is the document addressing?
The guidelines were developed from a systematic review of the evidence available to prevent healthcare associated infection and therefore provide that evidence to inform local policy and guideline development for standard infection control precautions

3. Type of study
Systematic review

4. Methods valid & appropriate?

The guidance has been updated following a further review of evidence and new technology but a critical assessment of the updated evidence indicates that the guidance remains robust, relevant and appropriate

5. Results / recommendations reliable?
The guidance was developed using a systematic review and then critical appraisal for each intervention, grading using categories described by Eccles and mason (2001) to define the strength of recommendations

6. Any major problems and biases?
This original report does not include guidance on infection prevention and control when using urinary catheters/central venous lines. This has been addressed in the updated report

7. Any other important / relevant studies which confirm or contradict?
1. The epic project: Updating the evidence-base for national evidence-based guidelines for preventing healthcare associated infections in the NHS hospitals in England: a report with recommendations. Pellow CM, Pratt RJ, Loveday HP, Robinson N, Jones SRLJ, British journal of Infection Control, December 2004, Vol5, No 6
2. Infection Control: Prevention of healthcare associated infection in Primary and Community Care. Pellow CM, Pratt RJ, Harper P, loveday HP, Robinson N, Jones S, MacRae ED and the Guideline Development Group (2003) Journal of Hospital Infection 55(Supplement 2): 1-127

8. Keywords
healthcare associated infection infection prevention and control evidence based guidelines environment hand hygiene personal protective eqiupment sharps

Reviewer's Details:

Name:Sue Wiseman
Post:Nurse Consultant, Department of Health/CeRC
(Society / Organisation / Advisory Committee):
Associate member HIS

*** Note: These are the views of a professional expert rather than an official statement from his or her society, organisation or advisory committee.

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