Resident/ person placement/ assessment for infection risk

When a person is found to be, or is thought to be, suffering from an infection, it is necessary to consider the possible source and route of transmission (passing on) in order to apply appropriate control measures. This may include isolating an individual from others within a care home or community based unit.

You may consider this to be not relevant in a person’s home. However, if you are attending to an individual with an illness such as Norovirus infection there is the potential to isolate the toilet the individual uses if there is more than one toilet in the house, or disinfect bathroom in between uses if only one available.

Within the care home setting it is important to promptly assess an individual for infection risk on their arrival.


NOTE: Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) may be insufficient to prevent transmission of some infections. Additional precautions called Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs) are required to be used by staff. Refer to the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual and/or local policy for further information on TBPs.



  • Standard Infection Control Precautions must still be applied when additional precautions are in place.

Who presents an infection risk?

People who may present an infection risk are those:

  • with diarrhoea and vomiting
  • unexplained rash
  • fever (raised temperature)
  • respiratory symptoms
  • previously positive with multi drug resistant organisms such as MRSA or carbapenemase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE)
  • hospitalised outside Scotland in the last 12 months.

How can infections spread?

People can become infected in various ways:

  • by touching contaminated surfaces or coming into contact with someone who has an infection
  • by breathing in or swallowing harmful microorganisms (germs/bugs)
  • by microorganisms (germs/bugs) entering through a cut or wound
  • from using contaminated care equipment.

What should be done when there is a risk of infection?

In the care home setting you may need to consider isolating a person in a single room, ideally with their own toilet and handwashing facilities. This can be a frightening situation for the person affected and their family, and the reason for isolation must be explained.

Local procedures and policies on infection risk assessment must be followed, the infection risk documented, and action taken.

The risk assessment should influence placement of a person according to clinical/care needs.

The assessment should be reviewed throughout the person’s stay as per local procedures and policies.