This revised version of the code of practice replaces the edition published in 2010. It applies to NHS bodies and providers of independent healthcare and adult social care in England, including primary dental care, independent sector ambulance providers and primary medical care providers.
The code now reflects the changes required to meet The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the role of infection prevention (including cleanliness) in optimising antimicrobial use and reducing antimicrobial resistance.
The law states that the code must be taken into account by the Care Quality Commission when it makes decisions about registration and that providers must have regard to the code when deciding how they will meet the regulations. However, the code is not mandatory, so registered providers do not by law have to comply with the code. A registered provider may be able to demonstrate that it meets the regulations in a different way (equivalent or better) from that described in this document.
This document takes account of responses to the consultation on the draft code of practice and related guidance that ran for 6 weeks from 30 January 2015. The Department of Health has also published a response to the consultation.