Preventing harm to patients or clients, health or social workers and visitors due to infection in care facilities is fundamental in order to achieve quality care, patient or client safety, health security and the reduction of health care-associated infections and antimicrobial resistance. Similarly, preventing and reducing the transmission of infectious diseases that pose global threats, such as pandemic influenza, Ebola virus disease and other viral haemorrhagic fevers, is paramount. Clean, safe care is a patient or client right and should also be the duty and pride of all those working in the health or social care sector.

IPC is a cross-cutting issue in health and social care. Strong, effective IPC programmes have the ability to influence the quality of care, improve patient or client safety and protect all those providing care in the system. Patients or clients and health care or social care workers need to be safe and protected at all times, no matter where and irrespective of the context.