‘Effective infection prevention and control is central to providing high quality healthcare for patients and a safe working environment for those who work in [a] healthcare setting.’1
In fact, therapy providers – including those in the allied health space – have a “legal responsibility to provide a safe work environment, safe systems of work and a safe environment for patients and visitors.’1
To help therapists understand their obligations and how to meet them, a fundamental document was released last year. The Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control on Infection in Healthcare (“The Guidelines”) was compiled by The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in partnership with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.
Released in May 2019, The Guidelines provide ’evidence-based recommendations that outline critical aspects of infection prevention and control, focusing on core principles’1 that should be applied to a wide range of healthcare and clinical settings.
The Guidelines state that ‘to be effective, infection prevention and control must be a priority in every healthcare facility’1 and ’the person in charge of the organisation must have overall responsibility for and direct involvement in the organisation’s infection prevention and control program.’1
Often in hospital, clinical, massage and beauty settings a customer will be required to lie face down (prone) on a therapy/massage bed and place their face into a hole in the bed, an area that is provento harbour infectious agents, and therefore requiring high quality hygiene practice.
After four years of extensive consultation with consumers, primary and community healthcare providers and other key stakeholders, The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare released the Primary and Community Healthcare Standards – the first nationally consistent safety and quality standards.