Published: 06/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5904 Page 5

NHS Estates is likely to issue more guidance on infection control following a wholesale review of its advice, HSJ has been told.

NHS Estates centre for healthcare engineering principal scientific adviser Nigel Tomlinson said he and his colleagues were keen to ensure guidance reflected an increasing evidence base on the causes of healthcare-acquired infection.

He told HSJ's conference on tackling infection control last week that although more guidance and recommendation was likely, the agency would not necessarily be more prescriptive on how healthcare buildings should be built and maintained.

But he said: 'If healthcareassociated infection is to be reduced, it is imperative infection control is designed in at the planning and design stages of a healthcare facility new build or renovation.'

The audience also heard that guidance will be issued later this month on the role of trust directors of infection prevention and control. In conjunction with infection control staff, they will oversee plans for building work and contracts for cleaning and laundry services.

The conference also heard of increasing concerns that bed management was hampering progress on improving infection control.

Mid-Essex Hospital Services trust director of infection control Dr Louise Teare said: 'Some colleagues are saying we need to reduce bed occupancy or we have to increase the time between getting patients in and out of the same hospital bed, so We have actually got time to clean the bed properly and round the bed.'

Department of Health nursing officer for communicable diseases Carole Fry told the conference that trust chief executives must ensure bed managers work with infection control teams.