IC6 Contingency plans for the control of infectious outbreaks / incidents

Infection prevention and control
Issue No

Target Audience

All CWP staff


Outbreaks of infection within a hospital or healthcare setting vary greatly in extent and severity, ranging from a few cases restricted to a single ward or area, up to a hospital wide outbreak, involving many service users / clients and possibly staff members. The number of cases required for a situation to be classified as an outbreak varies according to the infectious agent, severity of symptoms and the number of cases in a given time, period and location (Department of Health1995).

The decision to classify a given situation as an infection incident or outbreak will be made by the IPC Team (IPCT) after consultation with relevant clinical staff. The aim of this policy is to ensure prompt action to:

Recognise early a major outbreak of food poisoning or communicable disease.
Define its important epidemiological characteristics and aetiology.
Prevent further spread.
Prevent its recurrence if possible.
Maintain satisfactory communication with external agencies that have a legitimate interest in the outbreak.


Lead executive
Director of Infection, Prevention and Control (DIPC)

Author and contact number
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)Team
01244 397 700

Policy dates & history

Implementation Date

23 November 2017

Approval Meeting

Infection Prevention and Control Sub Committee (IPCSC)



IC6 Issue 8.1 Contingency plans for the control of infectious outbreaks - incidents.pdf

Download Now
Text size A- A+
Contrast options