Infection prevention and control

Preventing and controlling infection is an essential role for all staff providing care to older people. 

Good infection prevention and control can:

  • reduce infections developing 
  • control the spread of resistant infections 
  • reduce the need for antimicrobials.

Infection prevention and control guidelines

The Prevention and control of infection in residential and community aged care is a helpful pocket book for residential aged care staff. It was developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Department of Health. 

The pocket book has information on the best ways to prevent and control infections in residential and community aged care settings.

The pocket book is based on the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare, published in 2010 by the NHMRC.

Hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene Australia has produced best practice guidance on hand hygiene. Fact sheets are available on the importance of hand hygiene for preventing common healthcare-associated infections.


Vaccination is an effective way to stop people from getting infections that can be prevented. It also decreases the need for antibiotics and reduces the development of resistance. 

Seasonal influenza vaccination can help reduce antibiotic use, which tends to increase during cold and flu season.

Pneumococcal disease can cause serious illness in older Australians. Pneumococcal vaccination can reduce the risk of infection.

Pneumococcal and influenza vaccines are available for free for adults 65 years of age or over.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines.

Last updated: 
9 November 2017