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Welcome to the course

Claire Mackintosh welcomes learners to the course and introduces the topics which will be covered throughout the 2 weeks.

Welcome to this course on Infection Prevention for Vulnerable patients, covering the importance of managing infection, tailoring healthcare and its accessibility to vulnerable patients.

Over the next two weeks, we will look closer into a variety of vulnerable patients and how their situations make it difficult to navigate hospital stays with their complex needs. As hospitals can be rigid, rule-based places, developing novel and different ways to give care (with patients being at the heart of it) allows healthcare to be accessible to vulnerable patients. This course combines information from healthcare professionals who work with vulnerable patients with personal experiences and case studies.

In this first week, we will explore the definition of vulnerable and discuss different vulnerable situations such as homelessness and drug use. We also look into the impact of these situations and how they prevent patients from receiving the healthcare they need.

A glossary of key terms for this course can be found in the downloads section below.

Using FutureLearn courses

If you are new to FutureLearn courses, click here for a guide on how to engage with the course. Learners are encouraged to introduce themselves and to participate in course discussions and quizzes. Any comments left by users can be viewed by all learners. We encourage you to interact with other learners by ‘liking’ and replying to their comments.

Learners can also upgrade to have:

  • Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.
  • A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible – this can go towards CPD points.

Before we begin, we would like to remind you of FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct which should be considered before participating in the discussions throughout this course.

Please remember this is an open-access platform and public domain so please do not share any private or confidential information.

This course has been approved by The Royal College of Pathologists at a level of 4 credits. The RCPath CPD approval process is in line with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges standards and criteria for CPD activities framework guidance. Reciprocity has been agreed between colleges/faculties for all approved activities.

Please note that all who submit their details to the RCP to claim CPD agree that FutureLearn may need to share their data, including their progress on the course, with RCP for the purposes of auditing / offering CPD.


We hope you find this course useful and enjoy learning about improving care for vulnerable patients! We value your input and encourage you to let us know your opinions in the comments as you go along.

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Infection Prevention for Vulnerable Patients

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