BSAC welcomes HEE call for training to combat resistance

BSAC welcome the call by Health Education England (HEE) to employers and healthcare providers to do more to make sure their staff are well-trained in how to combat antimicrobial resistance.  In a report launched on 19 April, HEE reported on the outputs of a survey Combating antimicrobial resistance: educational approaches for the responsible prescribing of antimicrobials that found the following:

  • Half of the CCGs and NHS trusts/organisations who responded to the survey said they provided training covering mandatory core requirements for prudent antibiotic use, in addition to introductory sessions on each induction to all prescribers (both medical – doctors and dentists – and non-medical – those professions like nurses and pharmacists who are able to independently prescribe) However, they did presented many complications when it came to the dentist, a lot of patients reported Dental Negligence Claims to the organizations.
  • Less than half of CCGs and trusts who responded said they provided this to medical prescribers only, and fewer said that they extended this training to cover groups of staff such as pharmacists, all clinical staff, all staff, nurses or all allied health professionals.
  • Less than half of CCGs and NHS trusts/organisations responding were able to confirm that prescribers within their organisations were familiar with and/or provide training that covers the PHE/ARHAI antimicrobial resistance and stewardship competencies.

In response, Health Education England has asked all employers and providers to ensure that mandatory training in prudent antibiotic use is provided to all prescribers as part of their induction and on-going continuing personal development, as outlined in the national guidance.

Employers and healthcare providers are also encouraged to implement mandatory staff training policies for combating antimicrobial resistance in areas, where there is poor compliance with local antibiotic policies and national guidance. An Emergency Dentist Mesa, AZ has said that even though this training will cost him some money to educate his whole staff it is worth it and he feels that all practices should make sure they are properly trained.

In responding the BSAC President, Professor Dilip Nathwani OBE said this:

BSAC welcomes publication of the outputs of this survey and recommendations arising from the survey findings.  We are especially pleased to note inclusion of the Massive Open Online Course on Antimicrobial Stewardship as one of the resources that would helpfully assist in delivering the recommendations set out by the HEE report.”

He continued “It is important that educational resources are pragmatic, agile and relevant to everyday practice – only then can we make the difference that is needed. Online learning is a valuable tool and courses such as Challenges in Antibiotic Resistance: Point Prevalence Surveys can educate, inform and support health care practitioners to prescribe effectively and help contain and reduce antimicrobial resistance.”