Maintaining quality

Infectious diseases physicians contribute to guidelines produced by national bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), specialist societies including the British Infection Association and the British HIV Association. In addition to guidelines, many of these groups also produce quality standards to which infection services can be compared. Infectious diseases physicians also contribute to public health bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and other Public Health England groups. Departments have regular mortality and morbidity meetings to internally review quality and highlight areas that require improvement.

MDT meetings for infections that cut across specialties (tuberculosis, hepatitis and HIV) often include infectious diseases physicians, some of whom are leading the Operational Delivery Networks regionally for these conditions, which ensure high-quality care and compliance with relevant NICE and other guidelines.

Infectious diseases physicians also contribute to outbreak and infection control activities (regional, national and international), increasing involvement in antimicrobial stewardship activity, and teaching and training of medical and allied staff.

Accessing data for quality improvement                                                   

National reporting of major infections (such as malaria and tuberculosis) and their outcomes to bodies such as Public Health England, allow infectious diseases units to assess their performance. Many infectious diseases units will act as the hub for regional HIV networks and facilitate participation in British HIV Association audits.

The British HIV Association organises national audits relating to HIV-specific outcomes.

National and local surveillance data can be accessed via Public Health England.

Local Health Protection Teams provide specialist support and are the first point of contact for any infectious disease or other notifications.

Infectious diseases consultants also act as expert advisors to several national and international groups on important public health matters, including World Health Organization groups on influenza and other emerging infections.