Hand sanitising

Current work

More information on the RCN's involvement with infection prevention and control and antimicrobial resistance

Aseptic technique

Following member feedback, the RCN is undertaking a programme of work on the education and the application of aseptic technique in practice across all care settings. 

This work has to date:

  • Built on RCN members feedback and requests to explore aseptic technique from a holistic perspective
  • Worked with nurses to explore experiences of asepsis and aseptic technique in practice
  • Used a Delphi methodology to explore definitions and language associated with asepsis and aseptic technique to begin the process of agreeing a common vocabulary to support nursing practice
  • Explored how procurement decisions impact on aseptic technique in practice
  • Linked current RCN activity on glove use to the aseptic technique programme

Tell us your experiences of aseptic technique

Our next phase of work is to explore experiences of aseptic technique training and education and we are inviting all nursing staff who use aseptic techniques in their roles to complete a very short survey.  The survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete and the results will be shared as part of an event scheduled to take part in the Spring.  

One day symposium on aseptic technique, 11 April, 20 Cavendish Square, London

The event is open to anyone interested in clinical nursing practice and aseptic technique. It will be of particular interest to nurses in all care settings working in NHS and Independent care sectors.  The event will also be of value to nurse educators, practice based educators, procurement and infection prevention and control specialist nurses.  This will be an interactive day and use participant feedback to shape the next phase of this work.

The event key objectives are:

  • To present the outcomes of the RCN work to date including the Delphi study and member survey
  • To use participant interaction and feedback to shape the next phase in the evolution of RCN work on aseptic technique
  • To debate procurement and the value of glove inclusion in pre-prepared dressing packs

Booking for this event will be open soon. 

IPC network

IPC network

More information on the RCN's infection prevention and control network and how you can get involved.
Facebook group

RCN Children and Young People IPC Network

This Network exists to support nursing staff who work with Children and Young people who have responsibilities for or an interest in Infection Prevention and Control. 

Leadership and professional advice

The RCN, through the professional lead for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), provides visible and clinical leadership in support of Infection Prevention and Control and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In addition to our strategic activity, we work to ensure that any resources we develop add value to our members and stakeholders, do not duplicate existing available information, complement the work of others and are quality assured.

The RCN hosts a generic IPC Network which supports the delivery of RCN focused projects or resources involving the prevention of infection. A new IPC network to support nurses and others working with Children and Young people (CYP) was launched in 2017. Additionally, the RCN is actively involved in strategic work programmes and stakeholder or expert reference group meetings to influence and develop policy on Healthcare Associated Infections, and AMR for all countries of the UK. This work closely aligns with RCN activity supporting patient safety, quality improvement and sepsis recognition and management.

Specific examples of current, strategic work we are undertaking or supporting that impacts on the prevention of infection includes:

• Developing a new professional development course to support education in infection prevention and control (commences November 2018)

• Supporting the Care Quality Commission (England) in the development of its new regulatory framework and inspection programme through its co-production programme

• NHS Improvement Prevention of Healthcare Associated Gram-Negative Blood Stream Infections programme

• Influencing and supporting the implementation of the Future Operating Model (FOM) in England and procurement of products and consumables – see Small Changes Big Differences

• Membership of the European Network to Promote Infection Prevention for Patient Safety (EUNETIPS)

• High Consequence Infectious Disease planning.

Antimicrobial resistance

Our work supporting efforts to reduce the risk of AMR is diverse and more detail can be found on our Antimicrobial resistance page.
• Advising the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) on the development and implementation of their AMR strategy

• Attending the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) stakeholder meetings

• Membership of the English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) group

• Activities supporting European Antibiotic Awareness day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week

• Membership of the human and animal health alliance

• Development and implementation of new rapid diagnostics

• Development of a new BSI standard for antimicrobial impregnated surfaces.


Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as a global health and economic threat. Nursing has a key role in supporting efforts to reduce this threat as a central part of the healthcare and public health workforce.




In 2013 the RCN joined OneTogether, a global movement aimed at improving patient safety by reduce preventable health care associated infections (HCAIs).

OneTogether is a collaboration of professional associations and industry partners with the joint aim of improving patient outcomes.

Despite continued focus on infection prevention, HCAIs remain an ongoing threat to patient safety and a significant drain on health service budgets. By facilitating joint working and connecting resources and expertise, OneTogether aims to empower the health care community to deliver a sustainable change in HCAI incidence.

Read about OneTogether

Page last updated - 03/08/2019