Tackling the threat to world health posed by antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistant bacteria – or bacteria that can no longer be killed by our drugs – are now one of the biggest threats to health the world faces today.

The problem is enhanced by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which means we all have a role to play in solving it, whether we’re a patient, health professional or health leader.

Today marks the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week and we have brought together ten clinicians and policy leaders to write a series of blogs in which they share the vitally important work they are doing to change their practice aimed at improving antimicrobial stewardship.

In the first of our blogs Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, and Elizabeth Beech, NHS England Healthcare Acquired Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance Lead, outline the changes they are making.

Dr Warner says: “The threat of antimicrobial resistance has made the importance of the interaction that pharmacy staff have with their patients all the more poignant.

“Patients need reassurance, advice, empathy and understanding if they are to feel confident to use antibiotics appropriately and in the best possible way to both get the outcomes they are looking for and preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations.”

Elizabeth Beech adds: “As healthcare professionals we are now well aware that antimicrobial resistance is a real and serious national and global problem.

“We know better stewardship of our antimicrobials is required, and changing our behaviours associated with the use of antibiotics is essential.”