BSAC welcomes NICE Consultation on Antimicrobial Stewardship

BSAC has today welcome the announcement that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has developed draft guidance on antimicrobial stewardship to help ensure antibiotics continue to be effective in treating infections.

NICE’s draft medicines practice guideline on antimicrobial stewardship, which is intended to help health and social care commissioners, providers and prescribers promote and monitor the sensible use of antimicrobials, has opened to registered stakeholders for formal consultation between 18 February and 17 March 2015.

Professor Dilip Nathwani, OBE, President Elect, and Consultant Physician and Honorary Professor of Infection, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee  welcomed the draft guidance saying:

“The Society welcomes all moves to improve the effective prescribing of antibiotics.  It is imperative we help healthcare professionals to make prescribing decisions that will improve patient outcomes and contain antimicrobial resistance.”  He continued “BSAC is working hard to support in this arena and is working in collaboration with the University of Dundee to develop a Massive Open Online Course on Antimicrobial Stewardship, the first truly global course to educate and support practitioners across all health economies globally to improve antibiotic prescribing.  This course will go a long way to meeting NICE’s draft recommendation for the “setting up multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship teams working across all care settings“.

Dr Nicholas Brown, President and Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge commented “The importance of improving antimicrobial stewardship cannot be underestimated.  A critical part of this is being able to accurately measuring antimicrobial usage and the Society is pleased to be supporting practitioners in this through the development of a national point prevalence survey system to enable hospital practitioners across the UK to measure and compare their antibiotic usage nationally.”

The Society is calling on all members to review the guidance and contribute to the BSAC formal response, copies of which will be published on the website in due course.