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Community associated infections – a community strategy for Wales

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This strategy has been developed to highlight best practice in community settings.

Community-acquired infection is any infection that a patient has when they come into hospital or occurs within the first 48 hours of admission.

What does the term community-acquired infection mean?

If the infection occurred within 48 hours of admission it is assumed that the patient was already incubating the infection, which they picked up in the community prior to admission. The 48 hour cut-off is somewhat arbitrary as infections have variable incubation periods.

Nevertheless, some standard definition is useful when considering likely sources of infection and 48 hours has remained the standard for many years.

What are we doing about community associated infections?

We know that healthcare associated infections don’t just exist in our hospitals. The Welsh Government has therefore developed a strategy for the organisations providing healthcare in the community.

The strategy aims to identify the actions and measures required to prevent patients, residents and members of staff from acquiring infections as a result of receiving care in our community healthcare facilities. The strategy focuses on devising and implementing:

  • National standards for the prevention and control of infection;
  • Infrastructure and organisation;
  • Training and education;
  • Audit and surveillance;
  • Interventions and development of performance indicators;
  • Information technology and communication; and
  • Occupational health.

For further information please contact: Health.Protection@Wales.gsi.gov.uk

Related links

Community Strategy website