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Hospitals: Infectious Diseases

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria are used to appoint authorised persons to inspect (a) central sterile stores and (b) management of infection control. (202167)

Guidance on the management and environment for the decontamination of reusable medical devices is set out in “Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 01-01): Decontamination of re-usable medical devices”. Copies of this document are available in the Library.

Section five of Part A of HTM 01-01, identifies the functional responsibilities including ‘Authorised Persons (Decontamination)’ to ensure equipment is operated safely and efficiently. The precise criteria concerning the appointment of an authorised person are covered in paragraphs 5.35 to 5.43 in this document.

Directors of Infection Prevention and Control are appointed by national health service trusts who decide which criteria to use. Guidance on competences for DIPCs was issued in May 2004. The detail can be found at

In addition, all acute NHS trusts are inspected against the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections by the Healthcare Commission. The Healthcare Commission decides which criteria to use when recruiting its specialist teams of inspectors.