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One in 10 CCGs behind in AMR stewardship

One in 10 CCGs behind in AMR stewardship

One in 10 CCGs said they did not have an antimicrobial stewardship programme in place, according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request carried out by the Patient’s Association (PA)

Posted: 17 May 2016

In April, all 209 CCGs in England were sent an FoI request asking how successfully they were implementing initiatives that promote local AMS programmes and support patient safety.

The results, received from 114 CCGs, showed a mixed picture: while there is good work being done to fight antimicrobial resistance, there is still a need for more effective initiatives.

According to the report, despite improved awareness, recommended antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) practice across the country remains “patchy”.

The FoI figures revealed that one third of CCGs could not confirm whether they had a named individual in place responsible for the implementation of an AMS programme, meaning almost 5.3 million people are being put at an increased risk of developing avoidable infections.

The results also show that too many commissioning groups are continuing to overlook existing measures and tools that have a proven impact on promoting more effective antibiotic prescribing.

With the latest data from Public Health England (PHE) showing that 74 per cent of antibiotics are being prescribed in primary care, according to the PA there is an urgent need to provide support to HCP in this part of the system.

In her foreword to the report, Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the PA, said: “More support needs to be provided to the areas that are not implementing enough of the key antimicrobial stewardship recommendations or making use of available resources, with particular attention required for those that do not even have antimicrobial stewardship programmes in place.

“There have been a number of recently introduced policy measures and financial incentives that encourage the delivery of improved antimicrobial stewardship at a CCG level, and this is something that should be welcomed.”

Andrea Jenkyns MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Patient Safety, said more needs to be done to ensure that the dangers of AMR are minimised.

“The only way this can be achieved is by adhering fully to current guidance and examples of best practice. Today’s findings clearly illustrate that although progress is being made and a number of areas should be commended for their antimicrobial stewardship efforts, other areas lag worryingly behind.”