Speaking at IP2021, Julie Storr called for a ‘hard reset’ in infection prevention and control, to ensure compassionate care is not overlooked, amidst efforts to eliminate risk from infectious diseases.
Reflecting on the pandemic, Julie Storr, a consultant with the World Health Organization and past Infection Prevention Society president, spoke of the need for a ‘hard reset’, within the field of infection prevention. This, she asserted, must focus on compassion. She challenged delegates to rethink infection prevention and control (IP&C), to learn lessons from the past, and to challenge decisions made in the name of IP&C. She argued that IP&C policy must be used as “a force for good” yet this has not always been the case.
“We have had restrictions on our liberty to stop COVID-19, which have ranged from the way we shop, to how we work, to delays to medical appointments; some will have had restrictions on seeing loved ones in hospital or care homes and many will have had to enforce restrictions, as part of their role, and to try and support people to lift some of those restrictions, to change the way they were applied,” she commented.
Before 2020, if you searched in the IP&C guidelines and literature for references to ‘compassion’ in terms of training and policies, you would have had to search quite hard. However, as far back as 2016, Julie Storr wrote in a book (co-authored with Paul Elliott and Annette Jeanes) of the need to apply IP&C from a holistic, rights-based perspective that takes account of dignity, ethics and humanity.1
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