Who we are
Our objectives are to:
- advance knowledge
- foster scientific interest
- and disseminate information
about the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).
We have over 1,000 members who are experts in the prevention and control of HCAIs. Our members are drawn largely from the medical profession, and are predominantly consultant microbiologists and doctors enrolled on an infection specialty training programme. Nurses, clinical scientists, research scientists and others with a demonstrable professional interest in HCAIs are also a vital part of our membership network.
Healthcare-associated infections - how we help
Patients can acquire HCAIs either as a result of being in contact with a healthcare setting or via medical interventions. Infection prevention and control is a key focus for those working in patient-facing healthcare.
Individuals who are committed to reducing levels of HCAIs to the lowest possible levels form the membership that HIS represents and supports.
What we do
- We help to prevent HCAIs by sharing research, evidence and best practice
- We provide a source of expertise in the prevention and control of HCAI
- We support everyone in UK healthcare and around the world to reduce avoidable HCAIs
- We strive to inspire and support generations of healthcare infection professionals through training, education and collaboration
- We support and communicate pioneering world leading research, driving effective practice
We consult our membership regularly, and every 5 years we formally review our strategy to ensure we understand the current climate within the field of HCAIs, the needs of our members as well as the larger infection, prevention and control community. We then set strategic objectives, and develop plans to ensure we achieve them.
Currently, we achieve our strategic objectives which focus on the prevention and control of HCAIs by sharing research, evidence and best practice. We do this via a programme of training and events, the development of resources, the production of evidence-based publications and guidance, the allocation of research funding, and other activities that support and represent our members.
The Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) is a charity (1158172) registered in England and Wales.
A world in which HCAIs have been reduced to the lowest possible level
To provide healthcare professionals with the information, evidence and skills they need to prevent and control HCAIs
We believe that:
- Good science underpins good clinical practice
- Many HCAIs are preventable through effective multi-disciplinary teamwork
- Continual professional learning and development is necessary to reduce the incidence of HCAIs
- Collaboration within and beyond the Society will help to advance and communicate knowledge
In 1979 a group of consultant medical microbiologists first met to form a society that would foster the scientific interests of those hospital doctors who were interested in nosocomial (or hospital-acquired) infections. The first formal meeting of the Society took place in 1980, and the Society moved into permanent premises at 162 King’s Cross Road London in July 2002 and Professor Sir Liam Donaldson officially opened the headquarters in March 2003.
Since 1980 the Society has been governed by a board of trustees and officers whom, along with committee chairs and co-opted members, serve as the HIS Council.
- 1980 – 1984 Professor E J Lowbury
- 1984 – 1988 Professor M T Parker
- 1988 – 1994 Professor G J Ayliffe
- 1994 – 1998 Professor D Speller
- 1998 – 2002 Dr S W B Newsom
- 2002 – 2006 Professor A M Emmerson
- 2006 – 2010 Dr G L Ridgway
- 2010 – 2014 Professor T R F Rogers
- 2014 – 2018 Professor G L French
- 2018 – Present Professor Hilary Humphreys
- 1980 – 1984 Professor G J Ayliffe
- 1984 – 1987 Dr D C Shanson
- 1987 – 1990 Professor M W Casewell
- 1990 – 1993 Professor A M Emmerson
- 1993 – 1996 Dr R H George
- 1996 – 1998 Professor T R F Rogers
- 1999 – 2001 Professor G L French
- 2001 – 2007 Dr R C Spencer
- 2007 – 2011 Dr A P Fraise
- 2011 – 2015 Dr T C Boswell
- 2015 – 2021 Dr E Ridgway
- 2021 – Present Dr C Settle
- 1980 – 1983 Dr D C Shanson
- 1983 – 1986 Dr M C Kelsey
- 1986 – 1989 Dr A J Howard
- 1989 – 1992 Dr R C Spencer
- 1992 – 1993 Dr D McGhie
- 1993 – 1996 Dr F Falkiner
- 1996 – 1999 Dr M Wilcox
- 1999 – 2005 Dr M Greig
- 2005 – 2006 Dr J Richards
- 2006 – 2009 Dr A Eastaway
- 2009 – 2015 Ms C Fry
- 2015 – 2021 Dr P Jenks
- 2021 – Present Dr M Meda
Scientific Secretaries (historical role)
- 1980 – 1982 Dr M W Casewell
- 1982 – 1984 Dr R H George
- 1984 – 1987 Dr T R F Rogers
- 1987 – 1990 Dr P J Wilkinson
- 1990 – 1993 Dr S M Mehtar
- 1993 – 1997 Dr G M Scott
- 1997 – 2003 Dr J Richards
- 2003 – 2005 Dr E T M Smyth
- 2005 – 2011 Dr T Boswell
- 2011 – Present Professor P Wilson (as Chair Scientific Development Committee)
- 1980 – 1984 Dr P D Meers
- 1984 – 1988 Dr S W B Newsom
- 1988 – 1999 Dr M C Kelsey
- 1999 – 2005 Dr A P Fraise
- 2005 – 2008 Dr M Greig
- 2008 – 2014 Dr W A Telfer Brunton
- 2014 – 2017 Dr A Colville
- 2017 – 2020 Dr R Cunningham
- 2020 – 2021 Dr C Settle
- 2021 - Present Dr D Harvey
Editors of The Journal of Hospital Infection
- 1980 – 1984 Professor G J Ayliffe
- 1985 – 1988 Dr P J Sanderson
- 1989 – 1993 Dr T R Rogers
- 1993 – 1998 Professor G L French
- 1998 – 2005 Dr S P Barrett
- 2005 – 2010 Dr S Dancer
- 2010 – 2015 Dr J Child
- 2015 – Present Dr J Gray
- 1989 – 1992 Dr P Sanderson
- 2018 – Present Dr R C Spencer
Registered as a charitable incorporated organisation charity number: 1158172
VAT registration number: GB 432177565
Registered address: Montagu House, 7E Wakefield Street, London WC1N 1PG
By providing evidence and guidance to help healthcare professionals to prevent and control HCAIs, the Society benefits the public through the advancement of health and the saving of lives.
The Society provides public benefit through:
- Research grant funding that supports the advancement of the science of HCAI prevention and control
- Organised educational and training events for healthcare professionals
- Supporting and guiding healthcare professionals at all stages of their career and specialty
- The publication of the Journal of Hospital Infection and Infection Prevention in Practice
- The formation of an accessible network of experts in the field of HCAI prevention and control
Each year, in the trustee’s annual report, we demonstrate how our charitable funds for the reported year are distributed and spent, and the benefits and impact of this on the advancement of medical research and clinical practice.
The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the importance of high standards of IPC in community and healthcare settings, and we will continue to ensure we support healthcare professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to deliver excellent clinical practice.
The Society also annually refers to the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit when reviewing its aims and objectives and in planning its future activities. Each year the trustees confirm that they have complied with our duty to have regard for the guidance on public benefit published by the Charity Commission on exercising their powers and duties.