40th anniversary of the Healthcare infection Society and the Journal of Hospital Infection

In 2020, a series of events and initiatives will take place to celebrate the 40th anniversaries of the Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) and the Journal of Hospital Infection (JHI).

In 1979 a group of consultant medical microbiologists met to discuss the formation of a learned society that would foster the scientific interests of hospital doctors who were interested in nosocomial (or hospital-acquired) infections. The first scientific meeting on the topic of Practical problems in hospital infections took place in January 1980, and was attended by the first four Officers: Graham Ayliffe (Chairman), David C Shanson (General Secretary), Mark Casewell (Meetings Secretary) and Peter D Meers (Honorary Treasurer). In the same year, the first issue of the JHI was published in March, and included articles covering issues still relevant today, such as the role of isolation, surveillance and an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

At its inaugural AGM held Friday 9 January 1981, the Society reported a membership of 264. Since then, membership has grown to over 1000, and the Society has organised multiple conferences and educational training events each year. 

Recording our history

The Society's Honorary Archivist, Dr Robert C Spencer (Chair of HIS 2001-2007) is currently continuing the work of Dr Philip Sanderson (Honorary Archivist 1989-1992) and is researching and recording the past activities of HIS and the JHI. A book documenting the first 40 years will be published in 2020.

Special celebration event 10 - 11 June 2020

This event has been CANCELLED. We will continue with our plans to publish a book that documents the first 40 years of the Society. Unfortunately, the prevailing circumstances mean we will be unlikely to reschedule this event in the form it was originally planned during 2020.


Scientific programme committee

Hilary Humphreys (Chair)
David Shanson
Robert C Spencer
Gary French
Martin Kiernan
Lisa Ridgway
Peter Wilson
Mark Garvey
Tim Boswell
Mike Cooper
Jo Walker
James Price
Nik Mahida