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Antimicrobial resistance

We are a key stakeholder in the implementation of the Government’s five year strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

The Government’s five year antimicrobial resistance strategy sets out our role in improving professional education and training about antimicrobial resistance.  As well as recommending that the Government campaign internationally for greater recognition of antimicrobial resistance, the strategy outlined how we have a central role in helping to improve the knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance.

To achieve this, we are working to promote awareness of antimicrobial resistance, encourage those prescribing, dispensing and administrating antibiotics to do so responsibly and with an understanding of antimicrobial resistance, and ensure that it is included in the preventing, management and control of infection curricula for human medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and other professionals.

Raising awareness amongst students about responsibly dispensing and administrating antibiotics

We have been working jointly with Public Health England to ensure that the competencies developed by the Government’s expert advisory committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection for all those prescribing of antimicrobials are embedded into relevant the curricula. Undergraduate students have expressed interest in receiving more education about antimicrobials, especially about their multidisciplinary use, so these competences provide clarity for regulators, education providers and professional bodies on what competencies they should be incorporating, and should inform standards, guidance and the development of training. Implementing them will also help to improve professional education, training and public engagement to improve clinical practice and promote wider understanding of the need for more sustainable use of antimicrobials.

We surveyed higher education institutions about their awareness of the competencies, and how they had embedded them into their undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. We also asked about how existing resources may be used to support learning and any perceived gaps in provision.  The full report and executive summary, which can also be accessed at the bottom of this page, set out the results and recommendations for ourselves and external organisations to encourage further adoption of these competencies. Further updates on our work and actions on the recommendations will be provided on this page.

Awareness raising tools

An introductory free e-learning module, Reducing Antimicrobial Resistance has been developed to support all health and social care staff understands the threats posed by antimicrobial resistance and ways they can help to tackle it. 

We’ve worked with Public Health England to develop two short introductory films about the risks associated with overusing antibiotics. The first film, a guide for GPs on antimicrobial resistance, supports a range of educational materials for GPs and other primary-care prescribers called the TARGET toolkit. This film also introduces a short informative but simple animation that can be used by GPs and other health professionals when speaking with patients about the risks of antibiotic resistance and misuse. The creation of the animation was influenced by the work of the Wellcome Trust in understanding how the public responds to information about antimicrobial resistance.

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