An online training tool to help all NHS staff understand infection control and make hospitals cleaner has been launched by chief nursing officer (CNO), Chris Beasley.

Launching the new online tool at the Infection Control Nurses Association annual conference, the CNO said: “This innovative approach to training will mean hundreds and thousands of NHS staff can improve their knowledge of infection control and really help in driving down avoidable infections.

“I would like to see everyone, from chief executives and consultants right through to cleaners and healthcare assistants accessing this resource and improving their knowledge and skills."

Beasley was tasked with improving hospital cleanliness and spearheading the fight against hospital infection, including life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), when she was appointed a year ago.

The training resource follows a three-part program covering infection guidelines and principles. It is for both clinical and non-clinical staff. Users can register and visit topics such as hand hygiene, protection, environmental cleanliness and disposal of waste and sharps.

Staff will also be able to print out key sections to distribute to their colleagues and check how well their part of the hospital is following the guidelines. The Department of Health says that making the training available online means busy NHS staff can visit the section as and when they have the time. The training stresses that everyone can contribute to reducing infection and therefore it is everyone’s business.

The infection control training programme is part of the NHS Core Learning Programmes Unit which is hosted by South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority on behalf of the wider NHS community. It has also been piloted at various sites including: Nottingham City Hospital Trust; Nottingham City PCT; Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.