NHS England launches national programme to combat antibiotic overusage

Image source: Global Panorama

NHS England has today launched the world’s largest healthcare incentive scheme for hospitals, family doctors and other health service providers to prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

Launched against the backdrop of the International Patient Safety Conference taking place at Lancaster House in London today, funding will be made available to hospitals and other providers that reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most significant threats to patients’ safety worldwide and is driven by overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately. Infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria increase levels of disease and death, as well as the length of time people stay in hospitals. As resistance in bacteria grows, it will become more difficult to treat infection, and this affects patient care.

The NHS’ new programme, which goes live in April 2016, will offer hospitals incentive funding worth up to £150 million to support expert pharmacists and clinicians review and reduce inappropriate prescribing. In addition, a typical local Clinical Commissioning Group with a population of 300,000 people could receive up to £150,000 a year to support GP practices improve their antimicrobial prescribing.

Read the full news story here

US hospitals make progress against healthcare associated infections

McCarthy, M. BMJ 2016;352:i1352

US hospitals have made progress in preventing healthcare associated infections, but such infections remain common and are often caused by difficult to treat, antibiotic resistant organisms, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found.

Researchers compared the number of infections reported in 2014 with a predicted number of infections based on historical baselines established over several years for central line associated bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, catheter associated urinary tract infections, and Clostridium difficile infections. The study was reported in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and led by Lindsey M Weiner, of the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Image source: NIAID

Image shows scanning electron micrograph of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (gold) outside a white blood cell (blue).

About 4000 acute care hospitals, 501 long term acute care hospitals, and 1135 inpatient rehabilitation facilities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported infections to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

The researchers found that short term acute care hospitals had seen a 50% decline in central line associated bloodstream infections from 2008 to 2014 and a 17% decline in surgical site infections over the same period, but no change was found in the incidence of catheter associated urinary tract infections from a 2009 baseline.

In long term acute care hospitals, central line associated bloodstream infections fell by 9%, while catheter associated urinary tract infections fell by 11%. Inpatient rehabilitation facilities saw a 14% reduction in catheter associated urinary tract infections from baseline.

Hospital onset C difficile infections actually increased by 4% during 2013-14, meaning that these infections decreased by only 8% from the baseline established in 2011.

Read the full article here

Red the original report here

Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening: clinical guidance

Information for healthcare professionals providing the NHS infectious diseases in pregnancy screening (IDPS) programme.

These documents explain the procedures for providing NHS infectious diseases in pregnancy screening (IDPS) in England, to ensure services meet the national standards.

Care pathways

See the typical care pathway for pregnant women screened for infectious diseases in pregnancy.

Service specifications

Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening professionals must use thenational service specifications in conjunction with these documents, to ensure service consistency in England.


The national quality assurance team uses key performance indicators (KPIs)to measure the performance of the antenatal and newborn screening programmes. Following the KPIs and standards for each programme ensures that all women receive an equitable screening experience.

Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening (IDPS): programme guidance

  1. Infectious diseases in pregnancy screening programme: laboratory handbook