The Scalpel's Blog

28.11.18

Turning the tide on antimicrobial resistance

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, provides her view of the institute’s newly published impact report on antimicrobial resistance.

Around 700,000 deaths occur every year worldwide due to infections that we cannot treat due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This number is set to increase to 10 million by 2050. As World Antibiotic Awareness week recently highlighted, there is much more that we can all do to tackle AMR and significantly decrease the number of deaths.

Challenging the rise of AMR has been a priority for NICE over the years. Since publishing our first piece of guidance on antibiotic use in 2008, we have produced a range of evidence-based guidance, standards, and resources on AMR. These aim to change prescribing practice, slow the emergence of AMR, and ensure that antimicrobials remain an effective treatment for infection.

What progress are we making to achieve these important goals?

This is something that our new AMR impact report seeks to address. It highlights how NICE guidance is being used in practice and the progress we as a health and care system are making in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

One area that the report explores is antibiotic prescribing in primary care and what is being done to reduce this. We found that, since the publication of the UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, a number of incentives, alongside NICE guidance, have been put in place to encourage appropriate prescribing in primary care.

For example, NHS England’s Quality Premium, which rewards clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for improvements in the quality of the services they commission, introduced a focus on appropriate antibiotic prescribing in 2015. This requires CCGs to reduce the number of antibiotics prescribed and the percentage of those prescriptions which are for broad spectrum antibiotics.

Data suggests that this is having a positive effect. By the start of 2018, over 80% of CCGs had reduced their antibiotic prescribing levels to below the 2013 England average.

This is good news and demonstrates that primary care professionals are making significant changes to how they prescribe antibiotics. However, our report also points out that there remains wide variation in the prescribing of antibiotics in different areas of England, suggesting that there is still room for improvement in many areas.

Another important focus of our report is antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in secondary care. Unlike in primary care, the overall use of antibiotics in hospitals has been rising in recent years. In light of this, there have been significant developments made across the health and care system. For example, in our NICE AMS guideline (2015), we recommend that organisations establishing AMS teams should ensure that core members include an antimicrobial pharmacist and a medical microbiologist.

A survey carried out by Public Health England as part of the 2017 ESPAUR report demonstrated that all AMS committees had implemented this recommendation. The survey also showed that the NICE AMS guideline was discussed by 93% of trust AMS committees and 83% had completed its baseline assessment tool.

This shows us that AMS teams across the country are working hard to change the culture of antimicrobial use in our hospitals to preserve their future effectiveness.

Overall, our report demonstrates that in the past five years there has been promising movement across both primary and secondary care to tackle AMR head-on. But the scale of the problem means there is a huge amount of work still to be done.

So we must continue to work together – patients and professionals – to transform a culture of antimicrobial waste, overuse and misuse. We must also support the development of new antimicrobial medicines and encourage companies to develop them. And only then will the tide really begin to turn on this global problem.

To access the full AMR impact report, please go to the NICE website.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

15/02/2019‘Damaging’ NHS targets ‘have had their day’ claims Lord Prior

NHS targets “have had their day” according to Lord Prior as the head of the health service launches an attack on 25 years of flawed h... more >
Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

15/02/2019Controversial shake-up of Kent stroke services given rubber stamp amid calls for judicial review

A major reorganisation of stroke services across Kent and Medway have been approved following a unanimous decision by the Joint Committee of CCGs... more >
A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

15/02/2019A&E waiting time performance hits all time low as NHS ‘buckles under the strain’

A&E waiting time performances in NHS trusts in England have hit their lowest level since regards began, according to the latest NHS statistic... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, that the NHS is inadequately funded. Even the secretary of state has argued that it will need more mon... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

14/02/2019Blog: 5 minutes with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership.

Ahead EvoNorth we caught up with Dr Tracy Vell MBE, Associate Lead for Primary and Community Care, Greater Manchester, Health and Social Care Partnership. Dr Tracy Vell MBE shares her thoughts on the Northern Powerhouse, what it means to her and why she thinks it’s important to attend EvoNorth.  What does your role as ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >
332 304x150 NHE Callout banner.

comment

Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

14/02/2019Maximising volunteer potential in hospitals

Sam Ward, director of commissioned services at the Royal Voluntary Service, argues that the right training can help harness the power of voluntee... more >
Leading and managing experts

14/02/2019Leading and managing experts

A coaching conversation is likely to yield the best results. Managing experts in the health industry can be a challenging and varying responsibil... more >
Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

14/02/2019Mesothelioma in the UK: a growing fight

The health impacts of asbestos in the UK can cast a much wider net than those in the construction and building sector. Liz Darlison, head of serv... more >
ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

14/02/2019ICO: Cyber security and the NHS

Peter Brown, acting head of technology policy at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), explains the importance of good practice in data pr... more >

health service focus

View all News

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >