Our strategy 2020-2025

Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) pose a serious risk to patients, staff and visitors in healthcare settings.  These infections can incur major costs for the NHS and cause significant morbidity to those infected. Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a key priority for our members and the NHS.

Our strategy is aligned to our statement of purpose and focuses on activities that support our members to overcome the challenges they face, and advance research that underpins excellence in clinical practice.

Our members save patient lives and are committed to professional excellence. They are the experts in HCAIs and IPC, and they champion clinical best practice. Our members influence the behaviour of their peers and they drive change, but they face significant challenges in their roles as healthcare professionals who are on the front-line of patient care. 

We developed our strategy following an extensive consultation process, and aligned our governance structure to ensure we have the best possible chance of resourcing and delivering the strategy.

Supporting healthcare professionals to manage, prevent and control healthcare-associated infections

Our plan to reduce HCAIs by funding research, sharing evidence and promoting best practice 2020-2025

HIS strategy 2020-2025 overview

The challenges our members face

  1. Patients may become ill or die unnecessarily from preventable infections acquired as a result of contact with a healthcare setting
  2. Adherence to IPC best practice in healthcare settings could be improved
  3. Reduced staffing levels, increasing patient numbers and clinical complexity are resulting in an increasingly heavy demand on professionals working in IPC
  4. Antimicrobial resistance is hindering the effective treatment of infections
  5. Community care settings can have poor coverage by IPC specialists, and staff are not familiar with IPC best practice
  6. IPC is underrepresented in training programmes, and the infection specialties struggle to recruit to postgraduate training programmes
  7. Changes to the postgraduate training curriculum have led to less exposure to IPC during training
  8. IPC specialists need to learn to make high level decisions under pressure, and this is only facilitated by greater experience and exposure.


Who we are

  • We are experts in the prevention and control of infections
  • We inspire generations of healthcare infection professionals through training, education and collaboration
  • We support everyone in healthcare to reduce avoidable healthcare-associated infections
  • We pioneer world leading science and drive effective practice
  • We prevent healthcare-associated infections by sharing research, evidence and best practice


Our strategic plan

Our plan is to support healthcare professionals to manage, prevent and control healthcare-associated infections which we will achieve via five strategic objectives.

1: Grow and engage

We will grow our membership, and engage and support our members.  We will do this by:

  • Expanding our membership categories and benefits for all IPC professionals
  • Developing a membership ambassador programme
  • Championing IPC as a career,  and supporting those who chose to follow the infection and healthcare science specialties
  • Continuing to shape our social media strategy to communicate our membership pathway and benefits, engage members and the wider IPC community
  • Creating a strong awareness of our brand, and developing a reputation for excellence, relevance and expertise across all of our activities


2: Professional development

We will design and deliver a range of expert-led educational activities, grants and resources that will promote the application of clinical best practice, and equip healthcare professionals to reduce the levels of healthcare-associated infections, and educate and inform the public. We will do this by:

  • Delivering focused, relevant and accessible events and training programmes delivered by experts
  • Developing e-resources that enhance the HIS training events and support the application of clinical best practice
  • Recognising and encouraging outstanding contributions to the field of IPC 
  • Promoting professional development by providing career development and training bursaries, and travel grants
  • Awarding grants for IPC education or engagement events run for the public (delivered by hospital/teaching/research staff)


3: Research and guidelines

We will support, develop and communicate research focused on infection prevention and control that will evidence best clinical practice and promote patient safety. We will do this by:


4: Collaborate

We will strive to collaborate with like-minded organisations to promote best practice and influence key opinion leaders. We will do this by:

  • Developing joint events and working with UK-based and international organisations
  • Facilitating and supporting joint guideline production
  • Developing a reputation as a source of experts who can inform key opinion leaders and organisations
  • Being represented on national and local bodies, on key aspects of IPC and HCAIs


5: Safeguard

We will safeguard our future through investment and diversification. We will do this by:

  • Building a robust and sustainable business model to ensure financial security, continuity and the exploration of new opportunities
  • Valuing and supporting our staff, volunteers and members


Our priorities


Programme of activities People Perception
We will fund a diverse range of research and produce expert guidance on the control and management of HCAIs

Our activities and publications will support the professional development of our members and the wider IPC community at all career stages and levels


We will ensure our new brand, website and key messages communicate that HIS is expert-led and  the authority on the delivery of activities and publications that drive best practice
We will deliver an expert-led high-quality programme of training and events

We will encourage our members to become involved with the Society in order to help us realise our vision: A world in which HCAIs have been reduced to the lowest possible level


We will provide accessible platforms for the dissemination of peer-reviewed high quality research We will support and develop our staff and volunteers