Welsh consultation highlights “great variation” in antibiotic prescribing

The Welsh Government and NHS Wales have launched a joint consultation seeking views on the priority actions needed to be taken in Wales to support the UK’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Delivery Plan.

The consultation, which runs until February 29, 2016, targets four key areas in which actions, related to optimising antimicrobial use, need to be addressed. These are:

  • infection prevention and control
  • surveillance
  • education and training and
  • research

“The threat from AMR is very real and something must be done,” commented NHS Wales’ chief executive, Andrew Goodall, writing in a foreward to the consultation document.

“AMR is linked to antimicrobial usage and we know there is great variation in prescribing across Wales. This suggests a proportion of antimicrobials prescribed are unnecessary or inaccurate in respect to the choice of medicine, dosage or duration of treatment. Ensuring rational use at both hospital and community levels requires continuous education through treatment guidelines, formulary restrictions and surveillance and audit.”

Welsh minister for health and social services, Mark Drakeford, added: “Wales must continue to play its part in UK and European partners’ efforts to minimise the effects of AMR on human and animal health. The AMR Delivery Plan sets out clearly the direction of travel for Wales and the key priorities for action.

“This is a complex health challenge and one in which everyone has to play a part for us to succeed. Infection prevention is better than treatment, so efforts need to be strengthened thereby reducing the reliance on antibiotics.”

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