The global healthcare community is making progress in the fight to promote infection prevention, yet the UK National Audit Office reports that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are believed to cost the National Health Service (NHS) at least £1bn annually and cause at least 5000 deaths. To assist this cause, the OneTogether programme is an initiative developed by 3M’s Infection Prevention Division in partnership with leading professional associations and is a movement aimed at improving patient safety by reducing preventable HAIs. The programme, which is beginning to take hold across the UK, leverages the power of collaboration by engaging a network of professional associations and industry partners to achieve a joint goal of improving patient outcomes.
By facilitating cross-functional work across different specialties to connect existing resources and expertise, OneTogether strives to educate, engage and empower the healthcare community to deliver a sustainable change in the incidence of HAIs.
To ignite the UK element of ‘OneTogether’, 3M has created a framework for communication and collaboration - bringing together key UK professional bodies to partner in the movement.
Representatives from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP), Infection Prevention Society (IPS) and College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) joined 3M for an exploratory meeting to shape the way forward.
The panel discussed critical factors impacting their respective professions, found common ground and decided on an initial area of focus: Driving implementation of standards for infection control practice within perioperative practice.
“Collaboration stimulates open dialogue, removing any barriers imposed by specialties or disciplines,” said Rose Gallagher, Infection Prevention and Control Advisor, Royal College of Nursing, in reference to RCN’s commitment to OneTogether. “By sharing experiences and ideas, we can promote best practices and empower healthcare professionals to make a difference at every level towards reducing HAIs.”
Kathryn Topley, 3M clinical efficiency manager and host of the panel meeting added, “Securing partnerships committed to the OneTogether programme is just the start. We plan to establish a ‘UK Expert Panel’ to provide leadership and engage healthcare professionals across the continuum of care through online communication systems.”
The next OneTogether event is a UK-based conference scheduled for November 2013. It will bring together infection control and perioperative nurses, operating department practitioners and senior healthcare management to focus on the challenges of reducing HAIs in perioperative practice.
3M is committed to providing support to raise awareness and increase the momentum of this important effort. Those passionate about reducing HCAIs can join the movement and unite with 3M and its professional association partners. Learn more by visiting www.joinonetogether.org. To review current activities and engage in the debate, join us at www.facebook.com/3mInfectionPreventionSolutions.
About 3M’s Infection Prevention Division
3M’s Infection Prevention Division aims to help reduce healthcare-associated infections through its infection prevention solutions. With its system of people, products and processes, 3M remains a trusted partner committed to helping hospitals reduce the risk of infections and improve patient outcomes. Learn more at www.3M.co.uk/ip.
About The RCN
The Royal College of Nursing is the largest professional nursing union in the world, promoting excellence in practice and shaping health policies. It has a growing Infection Prevention and Control Network with over 1000 members. Infection prevention and control are considered to be core elements of quality, patient safety and governance systems.
Learn more at www.rcn.org.uk/ipc. Follow the RCN on Twitter @theRCN
AfPP is a registered charity working to enhance skills and knowledge within operating departments, associated areas and sterile services departments. It promotes high standards of perioperative care, the exchange of professional information between members and co-operation with other professional bodies. AfPP has around 6,500 members throughout the UK and overseas. Learn more at www.afpp.org.uk. Follow AfPP on Twitter @SaferSurgeryUK.
The Infection Prevention Society exists to promote the advancement of education in infection prevention and control for the benefit of the community as a whole, in particular by the provision of training courses, accreditation schemes, education materials, meetings and conferences. Learn more at www.ips.org.uk. Follow IPS on Twitter @IPS_Infection.
CODP is an independent professional body, led by and serving the interest of its 5000 member operating department practitioners. It represents the profession throughout the UK and internationally, offering guidance on professional issues, hosting conferences and events and providing on-line support to members’ Continuous Professional Development. Learn more at www.codp.org.uk.
About healthcare-associated infection (HAI)
HAIs can develop either as a direct result of healthcare interventions, such as medical or surgical treatment, or by contracting an infection while in a healthcare setting. As such, they pose a serious risk to patients, staff and visitors. The most well known include those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
3M is a trademark of 3M Company.
 NAO (2000) UK National Audit Office Report: The Management and Control of HAI in Acute NHS Trusts in England (HC 230 1999/00) NAO ( (2009)The prevention, management and control of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) in hospitals.
3M Corporate Communications UK & Ireland
+44 (0)1509 613372