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Celebrating 10 Years Of The IPS
As we look back on a very busy 2017, one thing in particular stands out – the 10th anniversary of the Infection Prevention Society (IPS), which was celebrated at this year’s IPS Conference in Manchester.
Not only was this a momentous event for the society, but it also marked another significant achievement – our very own Dee Ward has followed IPS through a decade of transformation and has attended every single annual conference they’ve held!
I sat down to chat with Dee about some of the changes she’s seen over the past 10 years, and here’s what she had to say:
Moving with the times
Infections are continuously evolving, and the IPS has had some evolving to do itself to keep up-to-date with the changing face of infection prevention as a result.
In 2006, the Infection Control Nurses Association rebranded to the Infection Prevention Society – the word ‘nurse’ being notably removed. At the annual conference 2006 the ICNA membership voted to expand the membership to include any health professionals employed in the field of infection prevention and control, and the name change reflected this newly expanded membership.
The IPS gave uniformity and purpose – branches worked to a common theme or goal rather than working on projects alone.
The here and now
The focus in recent years has been to develop a clear strategy for the Society to make sure that its voice is heard by all those with an interest in infection prevention and control. It has become a credible association that is often cited and referred to in the media on topical news items such as the recent flu vaccination push.
The IPS works closely with and involves suppliers; pushing innovation by putting on showcases. And its annual conference has grown massively – it even offers CPD points to delegates for attending which they use towards their professional development.
The yearly event attracts international delegates and professionals from a wide range of specialisms; dental, care homes and safer needle networks for example.
The conferences are always very informative and delegates continually say how much they have learnt and enjoyed it. The exhibition has increased in size as the years have passed; in the beginning it was only the large companies that had a big stand (with Daniels being one of the first), now more companies exhibit and they invest a lot in their stands due to the number of delegates and the relationship they have with the IPS.
The time of your life
From my personal experience of attending every conference, I can confidently say that Daniels has made lots of friends through the IPS and, as a result, collaborated on many things.
One of my highlights was visiting all of the IPS branches and training them on how to use Twitter! It was so great to be able meet everyone and to share what I have learnt about social media over the years. It’s this kind of networking and knowledge sharing that the IPS does best.
A step change
One wider change I’ve seen is that sharps containers are not really seen as just an infection prevention product anymore. They fall under IC, as they prevent needlestick injuries which, in turn, prevent infections. Sharps injuries remain a major occupational safety concern for the healthcare sector and we work closely with customers, and the wider industry, to help educate individuals and teams on sharps safety.
Thank you to everyone at the IPS for all they do and congratulations on a successful decade of hard work. Also, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our customers, staff, partners and suppliers who work tirelessly with us on sharps training and education – we couldn’t do it without you.
We’d love to hear your memories of IPS conferences and the main changes you’ve seen in sharps usage and infection prevention over the years. Follow us on Twitter @DanielsHCareLtd, Facebook and LinkedIn.