On 28 July, 2015, the CfWI published its reviews of the infection prevention and control, and tuberculosis nursing workforces.
Commissioned by Public Health England, Health Education England and the Department of Health, the reports aim to build a clearer understanding of the location, number, functions, skills and competences of the two workforces.
The main findings for the IPC report are:
- IPC nurses are situated in different organisations, which all have different remits and responsibilities
- There is no uniformity in person specifications or core competencies for IPC nurses
- There is no clear defined pathway into IPC nursing and there is no ‘set’ qualification
- There is substantial variability in team structures and IPC service delivery models
- It is difficult to count the number of IPC nurses within care homes since the IPC leads there are not necessarily IPC nurses
- There is currently no formal national network for IPC nursing.
The main findings for the TB report are:
- The CfWI estimates that there are approximately 500 people working as a TB nurse within the NHS, based on indicative data we obtained from PHE.
- There is no clearly defined career pathway into TB nursing.
- There are no national guidelines for TB nurses to follow in terms of the competencies required for different nurse bandings.
- There is mixed support by management for TB nurses, for example some nurses felt well supported by management whilst others felt that management did not understand their role.
- There is no national network or information sharing point.
- NHS should host TB services, but closer links with PHE are needed so that nurses can develop more public health awareness.
- There are various workload issues relating to complex TB cases, latent TB and low numbers of nurses covering large areas.
- There is confusion about where the TB teams sits within a trust.
Both reports make a number of short and long-term suggestions for commissioners to consider over the next one to three, and three to five years.
You can download both reports below.