The Infection Control Nurses Association

The Infection Control Nurses Association logo

The ICNA maintains its high political profile by working in collaboration with medical, nursing, professions allied to medicine (PAMS) and commercial companies in the fight to control infection.

Our ability to work across boundaries enhances the aims of a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency and multi-national approach to infection control and underpins the success of clinical governance and patient care.

The Governments initiatives in the control of communicable diseases along with the increasing recognition of antimicrobial resistance has kept the members of the Association busy both locally and nationally.

The history of the ICNA

The 1950s was a period when staphylococcal infections were widespread in hospitals both in the UK and abroad, despite the introduction of antibiotics. At Torbay it was felt that appointing a suitable nurse to a full-time position would control cross infections in patients. So the first ICN was appointed in April 1959.

Following the establishment of Infection Control as a specialty in the 1960s the first recorded 3 day conference in this field was held at Lyngford House, Taunton. 17 Infection Control Sisters, including Miss Jorgensen from Hellerup, Denmark, met to discuss their problems, report progress and plan future collaborative studies. It was such a success they met again the following year. By 1969 the annual meeting was in Birmingham with 45 participants, 41 from the UK & 4 visitors from Denmark, Sweden Holland & the USA.

The ICNA was formed at the 1970 conference, held at Bristol University with Dr Brendan Moore elected President and Mr A Isbister as the new Chairman of the Association. Since then an annual conference has been organised with a different venue chosen each year, usually at a University campus. (Sheffield - 1971, Manchester - 1972, Oxford - 1973)

It was decided in 1984 to hold the first International ICNA meeting and this took place in the Victorian spa town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The event attracted delegates from far afield; America, Australia, Africa and South East Asia. Following such success every 4th annual conference is now an International conference, and is titled The International Conference on Infection Control.

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