Public Health Agency



Welcome to the website of the Regional Infection Prevention and Control Manual for Northern Ireland. This site has been developed by the Public Health Agency (PHA) to provide infection prevention & control (IPC) best practice advice and provide up-to-date information on the latest IPC policies and procedures.   

Healthcare organisations may adopt the advice in this manual to inform their own local policies and procedures.


The On-line Regional Infection Prevention and Control Manual was commissioned by the PHA as recommended in “Changing the Culture Action Plan” 2010 (DHSSPSNI).

The Manual was first produced in 2008 (Edited by Dr Ciaran O’Gorman) and reviewed in 2015 by Dr Tim Wyatt (Consultant Microbiologist, PHA) and Ms. Caroline McGeary (Senior Infection Prevention & Control Nurse, PHA). It is intended to complement extant infection prevention and control (IPC) policies in individual Health & Social Care Trusts and other organisations and achieve standardisation in IPC across all Health-Care facilities.

The Manual provides an evidenced based resource for healthcare workers in all professional groups, and should be  used  in all Healthcare settings ,including Hospital , Community, Primary Care , Private or Voluntary sectors.

To facilitate its use, the Manual has open access and no passwords or usernames are required.

For the purposes of this manual the term ‘patient’ refers to any individual receiving healthcare and applies to residents and clients in non-acute settings such as Independent Sector Care Homes, Hospices and Private Clinics.


We would like to thank all those who have contributed to this e-manual and the website. In particular we are extremely grateful for the expertise of the following groups:

  • PHA staff; in particular Communications staff
  • HSC Trust Infection Prevention & Control Staff
  • HSC Trust Microbiology Staff and members of the Northern Ireland Regional Microbiology Audit Group (NIRMAG)
  • Members of the Northern Ireland Lead IPC Nurse Forum

What's New

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared on the 30th January 2020 that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. For more information on this see

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is continuing to work with partners across the UK including Public Health England and our local Health Trusts on this issue. As part of this, there is ongoing monitoring for any potential cases of novel Coronavirus here in Northern Ireland.

A helpline has been established for anyone in Northern Ireland who has travelled to China in the past 14 days. The helpline number is 0300 200 7885.

This is an evolving situation and the PHA will provide updates and further guidance as required. For updates please see




Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene is the single most important way to prevent the spread/transmission of infection.

Good Hand Hygiene will reduce the risk of things like Influenza, Norovirus and other Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI’s). The basic 7-step technique is applied for cleaning the hands whether using a liquid soap or a hand sanitiser.
Read more in our Hand Hygiene section.


This site is currently under development and is not complete.  

Additional sections will be added over the coming months.  In the meantime, if you require infection control advice, please contact your local Infection Control Team.