Renewed call to tackle antimicrobial resistance

NICE. Published online: 21 April 2016.

The comment comes as NICE launches a new quality standard which aims to help healthcare professionals and organisations tackle the problem.

Antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest dangers to our health. Dame Sally Davies, the UK Chief Medical Officer, has described the threat as “catastrophic”. It could lead to people dying from ordinary infections, and routine operations such as hip replacements becoming deadly due to the risk of infection.

Last week, the Chancellor George Osborne warned that unless radical action is taken, it could lead to 10 million deaths each year by 2050. This is more than the number of people who die from cancer.

Image source: NICE – PHE

Yet despite these warnings, recent figures show that the use of antibiotics in the UK is increasing. Between 2010 and 2014, prescriptions rose in both primary and secondary care, the sharpest rise of which was in hospitals. Consumption in general practice increased by 6.2%. And prescribing to hospital inpatients climbed by 11.7%.

NICE has published a new quality standard that aims to help reverse these trends and tackle the looming threat. The quality standard contains six statements which healthcare professionals can use to improve quality of care. It says that individuals and organisations need to work together to maintain the effectiveness of antimicrobials.

Read the full post here

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