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Prof Dinah Gould 


I studied biology at St Mary’s College Durham University 1972-1975 then undertook a graduate entry nurse training course at the Nightingale School St Thomas Hospital in London. This was followed by experience as a staff nurse at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel and later as a ward sister at Chelsea Hospital for Women. I developed an interest in patients’ perceptions of illness and recovery, moving to Chelsea College (which later amalgamated with King’s College London) to work on a research project that explored recovery from surgery. This work formed the basis of my master’s degree which was obtained by research. My next job took me in an entirely different direction. When funding for the research post expired I acted on impulse by submitting an application for the post of infection control nurse at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

In the early 1980s infection prevention did not command the high profile that it does today, but as the first infection control nurse St Mary’s had ever employed, mine was a busy job and involved a considerable amount of teaching both to qualified staff in a wide range of different occupational groups (from medical staff to cleaners) and to student nurses. I soon realized that in order to influence practice, I must reach a larger audience and began to publish widely in the nursing press. Then in 1985 I moved full time into education. I was lecturer/senior lecturer at South Bank Polytechnic in London, mainly responsible for the BSc in Nursing until 1990 when I returned to King’s, teaching full time while registered part-time for my PhD, which explored nurses’ compliance with key infection prevention precautions: hand hygiene, use of gloves and the handling and disposal of ‘sharps’.

When I submitted my thesis in 1993 infection prevention was still a Cinderella service: fellow academics and practitioners reacted with surprise and amusement at my choice of topic and my determination that one day soon it would become important. I was right. By the late 1990s infection prevention had become a major preoccupation of policy-makers, practitioners, patients and the public and one morning I received a letter from King’s College informing me that the university library was so overwhelmed by requests to read my doctoral dissertation that it had been re-issued online. By then I had undertaken further research to explore the impact of an educational intervention on hand hygiene compliance and was working with Pharma to explore the capacity of different antiseptic agents to reduce the numbers of bacteria carried on hands to reduce cross-infection.

I moved back to South Bank as Professor of Nursing in 1997, transferring to City University London in 2003. At City I began to work with the Cochrane Collaboration. The main work has involved a major systematic review that evaluates interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance and reduce infection in patient care (hospitals and nursing homes), now about to be updated for the second time in four years in response to the huge number of publications that this topic now attracts. Along the way other patient safety-related and education-related projects have included a pan-European study to explore factors that encourage nursing retention, nurses’ understanding of risk factors for pressure ulcer development, opportunities for continuing professional development in the health professions and medicines management for people with chronic illness.

At City I secured a flagship grant from the Burdett Trust for Nursing to establish a postdoctoral nursing fellowship scheme as part of my role leading the postgraduate research degree programme, reaffirming my long-standing commitment to education as well as to research.

Membership and External Activity

  • Hospital Infection Society
  • Infection Prevention Society
  • Infectious Diseases Research Network

Editorial boards

  • American Journal of Infection Control 1998- ongoing
  • Journal of Clinical Nursing 1993-2003
  • Deputy Editor Journal of Advanced Nursing 2000-2006
  • Cochrane Evaluation of Practice and Care Group (based in Ottowa, Canada)

Peer-review 

  • Cochrane reviews and protocols
  • Referee for peer-reviewed journals including: Lancet Infectious Diseases, Health Psychology, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Journal of Hospital Infection, BMJ Quality and Safety, International Journal of Nursing Studies, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of Public Health

International and national contribution

  • Hong Kong government,
  • US Institutes for Infection Control
  • Irish Board
  • Ministry of Australia
  • Medical Research Council
  • National Institute of Health Research
  • External examiner Kuala Lumpur University 2004-2005
  • ESRC Research Studentship Committee 2002-2007
  • National Centre for Social Research 2001-2004
  • School of Life Sciences King’s College, London 1993-2003

Collaboration with industries, government agencies, charities

  • 1998 – ongoing Key Opinion Leader Mölnlycke (formerly SSL International)
  • King’s Fund 2003-2009
  • 2007 Global Consensus Conference Developing guidelines for the prevention and control of Clostridium difficile

Responsiveness to national and international priorities and initiatives

  • 2008 Royal College of Nurses Annual Hand Hygiene Event - ongoing
  • 2009 Round Table Debate: Progressing antiseptic development to reduce transmission of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and developing total-body decolonisation for pre-surgical patients. sponsored by Regent (Pharma)
  • 2005 Round Table Debate: Progressing antisepsis and infection control. Royal College of Surgeons sponsored by Regent (Pharma)
  • 2001 Royal College of Nursing Working Party: Guidelines for care of patients with HIV

Clinical Guidelines Development Group for Pressure Ulcers, RCN Dynamic Quality Improvement Programme, National Institute for Nursing, Oxford