Keep Antibiotics Working campaign

Campaign returns and will run from Tuesday 23 October 2018 across England for 8 weeks and will be supported with advertising, partnerships with local pharmacies and GP surgeries, and social media activity | Public Health England

The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign aims to educate the public about the risks of antibiotic resistance, urging people to always take healthcare professionals’ advice as to when they need antibiotics. Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.  The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

The campaign is part of a wider cross-Government strategy to help preserve antibiotics. The Government’s ‘UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018’ set out aims to improve the knowledge and understanding of AMR, conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments, and stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostics, and novel therapies.

Full detail at Public Health England

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Double check patients with ‘penicillin allergy’ to avoid increased MRSA risk

NICE | October 2018 |Double check patients with ‘penicillin allergy’ to avoid increased MRSA risk

Healthcare staff should be aware of this and ensure that only people with a true allergy to penicillin are documented as such, NICE is urging.

penicillin-2946054_640.pngIncorrectly identifying people as allergic could also contribute to antimicrobial resistance, as these people are likely to instead be given broad-spectrum antibiotics.

The warning comes in a new medicines evidence commentary (MEC) on research conducted in the UK and published in the BMJ in June 2018 (Source: NICE).

Full details at NICE 

Antimicrobial Resistance and Immunisation

Houses of Parliament | July 2018 |Antimicrobial Resistance and Immunisation

A new POSTnote, based on literature reviews and interviews with range of stakeholders, and externally peer reviewed, has been released from the House of Commons Library. This POSTnote considers the rise of antimicrobial resistance and immunisation. 

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Image source: researchbriefings.parliament.uk

Key points from the POSTNOTE:

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has reached a point where some infections may become untreatable.
  • Immunisation is one strategy to tackle AMR, by decreasing rates of infection and thereby antibiotic use and preventing the development of resistant infections.
  • The World Health Organization has developed a list of pathogens where AMR is of most concern and new antibiotics are needed; there is no equivalent for vaccines.
  • Quantifying the impact of immunisation on AMR and incorporating this into calculating the cost-effectiveness of vaccines is still an area of ongoing research.
  • Using immunisation to tackle AMR depends on wider use and increased uptake of existing vaccines, and increasing the development of new ones (Source: House of Commons Library).

The briefing Antimicrobial Resistance and Immunisation is available from the House of Commons Library 

Brexit Health Alliance calls for co-operation on infectious diseases

The UK risks the spread of antibiotic-resistant and other infectious diseases if it leaves the European Union’s (EU) early warning system after Brexit without an effective replacement, the Brexit Health Alliance has warned.

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This briefing from the Brexit Health Alliance (BHA) and the Faculty of Public Health, a sets out how people across Europe currently benefit from the close collaboration between the UK and EU on public health, and proposes solutions to maintain and improve a high level of public health protection after the UK leaves the European Union.

The Alliance is calling for:

  • Both the EU Commission and UK government to prioritise the public’s health in negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
  • A security partnership based on strong coordination between the UK and EU in dealing with serious cross-border health threats, such as pandemics, infectious diseases, safety of medicines (pharmacovigilance) and contamination of the food chain. Ideally, this would be by continuing access to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and other relevant EU agencies, systems and databases.
  • Alignment with current and future EU regulatory and health and safety standards relating to (for example) food, medicines, transplant organs and the environment, to avoid the need for replication of inspections and non-tariff barriers at the UK/EU border.
  • The UK government to commit to a high level of human health protection when negotiating future free trade and investment agreements.

Full briefing: Protecting the public’s health across Europe after Brexit

Funding opportunity available to UK and Chinese researchers to help tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Department of Health and Social Care, Innovate UK & Steven Brine |  March 2018  | UK-China collaboration to tackle antimicrobial resistance

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will invest up to £10 million in UK businesses and academics who work in conjunction with Chinese scientists to advance work on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The fund is to  support the development and, where appropriate, clinical evaluation of new products or services, which must be of value in addressing the threat from AMR.

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Innovate UK will deliver the funding to UK researchers (£750,000) and The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology  will invest up to 60 million Renminbi (RMB) to fund the project.  Projects can last up to 3 years.

UK applicants must demonstrate that projects are primarily and directly relevant to the needs of people in low and middle income countries (LMICs), including China, as defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). There must be a clear economic and societal benefit to LMICs from their proposed project. The competition will open on 3 April 2018  (Innovation Funding Service)

Projects must address the specified criteria at DHSC here  

Full details including eligibility criteria are available from DHSC 

Progress report on the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance strategy

The third annual progress report on the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy, including future plans | Department of Health

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The third annual progress report describes the activities and achievements in the third year of implementation of the UK 5 year antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy 2013 to 2018, including significant international achievements.

The UK AMR strategy represents an ambitious programme to slow the development and spread of AMR, taking a ‘One Health’ approach spanning people, animals, agriculture and the wider environment.

The report sets out progress made in 2016, and notes that for the remaining 2 years of the strategy, the programme will focus on delivery of the government’s ambitions set out in response to the review on AMR led by Lord O’Neill. These include ambitions to halve certain types of infection and the inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Full report: UK 5 Year Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy 2013-2018. Annual progress report, 2016

 

Preventing infections and reducing AMR

This professional resource outlines the importance of infection prevention and control and how it can contribute to reducing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) | Public Health England

Every infection prevented reduces the need for and use of antimicrobials, which in turn lessens the potential for development of resistance. In the UK, the current rising threat from drug resistant organisms is from Gram-negative bacteria. Infections caused by Gram-negative organisms are increasing. This professional resource outlines the importance of infection prevention and control and how it can contribute to reducing antimicrobial resistance.

Full detail at Public Health England

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Image source: http://www.gov.uk