Who we are

Our objectives are to:

  • advance knowledge
  • foster scientific interest
  • and disseminate information

about the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

We have over 1,000 members who are experts in the prevention and control of HCAIs.  Our members are drawn largely from the medical profession, and are predominantly consultant microbiologists and doctors enrolled on an infection specialty training programme.  Nurses, clinical scientists, research scientists and others with a demonstrable professional interest in HCAIs are also a vital part of our membership network.

Healthcare-associated infections - how we help

Patients can acquire HCAIs either as a result of being in contact with a healthcare setting or via medical interventions. Infection prevention and control is a key focus for those working in patient-facing healthcare.

Individuals who are committed to reducing levels of HCAIs to the lowest possible levels form the membership that HIS represents and supports.

What we do

  • We help to prevent HCAIs by sharing research, evidence and best practice
  • We provide a source of expertise in the prevention and control of HCAI
  • We support everyone in UK healthcare and around the world to reduce avoidable HCAIs
  • We strive to inspire and support generations of healthcare infection professionals through training, education and collaboration
  • We support and communicate pioneering world leading research, driving effective practice

We consult our membership regularly, and every 5 years we formally review our strategy to ensure we understand the current climate within the field of HCAIs, the needs of our members as well as the larger infection, prevention and control community. We then set strategic objectives, and develop plans to ensure we achieve them.

Currently, we achieve our strategic objectives which focus on the prevention and control of HCAIs by sharing research, evidence and best practice. We do this via a programme of training and events, the development of resources, the production of evidence-based publications and guidance, the allocation of research funding, and other activities that support and represent our members.

The Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) is a charity (1158172) registered in England and Wales.

Join our network of experts and help to reduce HCAIs
Our statement of purpose

Our vision

A world in which HCAIs have been reduced to the lowest possible level

Our mission

To provide healthcare professionals with the information, evidence and skills they need to prevent and control HCAIs

Our values

We believe that:

  • Good science underpins good clinical practice
  • Many HCAIs are preventable through effective multi-disciplinary teamwork
  • Continual professional learning and development is necessary to reduce the incidence of HCAIs
  • Collaboration within and beyond the Society will help to advance and communicate knowledge
Our history

In 1979 a group of consultant medical microbiologists first met to form a society that would foster the scientific interests of those hospital doctors who were interested in nosocomial (or hospital-acquired) infections. The first formal meeting of the Society took place in 1980, and the Society moved into permanent premises at 162 King’s Cross Road London in July 2002 and Professor Sir Liam Donaldson officially opened the headquarters in March 2003.

Since 1980 the Society has been governed by a board of trustees and officers whom, along with committee chairs and co-opted members, serve as the HIS Council. 

In 2021 HIS and the Journal of Hospital Infection celebrated their 40th anniversaries.  Read more here.

Past and present HIS Officers and Chairs

Presidents

  • 1980 – 1984 Professor Edward J Lowbury
  • 1984 – 1988 Professor M T Parker
  • 1988 – 1994 Professor Graham J Ayliffe
  • 1994 – 1998 Professor David Speller
  • 1998 – 2002 Dr S W (Bill) B Newsom
  • 2002 – 2006 Professor A M (Mike) Emmerson
  • 2006 – 2010 Dr Geoffrey L Ridgway
  • 2010 – 2014 Professor Thomas R F Rogers
  • 2014 – 2018 Professor Gary L French
  • 2018 – Present Professor Hilary Humphreys 

 

Chairs

  • 1980 – 1984 Professor Graham J Ayliffe
  • 1984 – 1987 Dr David C Shanson
  • 1987 – 1990 Professor Mark W Casewell
  • 1990 – 1993 Professor A M (Mike) Emmerson
  • 1993 – 1996 Dr Richard H George
  • 1996 – 1998 Professor Thomas R F Rogers
  • 1999 – 2001 Professor Gary L French
  • 2001 – 2007 Dr R C Spencer
  • 2007 – 2011 Dr Adam P Fraise
  • 2011 – 2015 Dr Tim C Boswell
  • 2015 – 2021 Dr Elisabeth Ridgway
  • 2021 – Present Dr Chris Settle

Secretaries

  • 1980 – 1983  Dr David C Shanson
  • 1983 – 1986  Dr Mike C Kelsey
  • 1986 – 1989  Dr A J Howard
  • 1989 – 1992  Dr Richard C Spencer
  • 1992 – 1993  Dr D McGhie
  • 1993 – 1996  Dr F Falkiner
  • 1996 – 1999  Dr Mark Wilcox
  • 1999 – 2005  Dr M Greig
  • 2005 – 2006  Dr Judith Richards
  • 2006 – 2009  Dr A Eastaway
  • 2009 – 2015  Ms Carole Fry
  • 2015 – 2021  Dr Peter Jenks
  • 2021 – Present Dr Manjula Meda

Scientific Secretaries (historical role)

  • 1980 – 1982  Dr Mark W Casewell
  • 1982 – 1984  Dr Richard H George
  • 1984 – 1987  Dr Thomas R F Rogers
  • 1987 – 1990  Dr P J Wilkinson
  • 1990 – 1993  Dr Shaheen M Mehtar
  • 1993 – 1997  Dr Geoffrey M Scott
  • 1997 – 2003  Dr Judith Richards
  • 2003 – 2005  Dr E T M Smyth
  • 2005 – 2011  Dr Tim Boswell
  • 2011 – Present  Professor Peter Wilson (as Chair Scientific Development Committee)

Treasurers

  • 1980 – 1984  Dr Peter D Meers
  • 1984 – 1988  Dr S W (Bill) B Newsom
  • 1988 – 1999  Dr Mike C Kelsey
  • 1999 – 2005  Dr Adam P Fraise
  • 2005 – 2008  Dr M Greig
  • 2008 – 2014  Dr W Andrew Telfer Brunton
  • 2014 – 2017  Dr Alaric Colville
  • 2017 – 2020  Dr Richard Cunningham
  • 2020 – 2021  Dr Chris Settle
  • 2021 - Present Dr David Harvey

Editors of The Journal of Hospital Infection

  • 1980 – 1984  Professor Graham J Ayliffe
  • 1985 – 1988  Dr Peter J Sanderson
  • 1989 – 1993  Dr Thomas R Rogers
  • 1993 – 1998  Professor Gary L French
  • 1998 – 2005  Dr Steve P Barrett
  • 2005 – 2010  Dr Stephanie Dancer
  • 2010 – 2015  Dr Jenny Child
  • 2015 – Present  Dr Jim Gray 

Honorary Archivists

  • 1989 – 1992 Dr Peter Sanderson
  • 2018 – Present Dr Robert C Spencer
Our legal identity

Registered as a charitable incorporated organisation charity number: 1158172

VAT registration number: GB 432177565

Registered address: Montagu House, 7E Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PG 

 

Public benefit

By providing evidence and guidance to help healthcare professionals to prevent and control HCAIs, the Society benefits the public through the advancement of health and the saving of lives.

The Society provides public benefit through:

  • Research grant funding that supports the advancement of the science of HCAI prevention and control
  • Organised educational and training events for healthcare professionals
  • Supporting and guiding healthcare professionals at all stages of their career and specialty
  • The publication of the Journal of Hospital Infection and Infection Prevention in Practice
  • The formation of an accessible network of experts in the field of HCAI prevention and control

Each year, in the trustee’s annual report, we demonstrate how our charitable funds for the reported year are distributed and spent, and the benefits and impact of this on the advancement of medical research and clinical practice.

The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the importance of high standards of IPC in community and healthcare settings, and we will continue to ensure we support healthcare professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to deliver excellent clinical practice.

The Society also annually refers to the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit when reviewing its aims and objectives and in planning its future activities. Each year the trustees confirm that they have complied with our duty to have regard for the guidance on public benefit published by the Charity Commission on exercising their powers and duties.