Health professionals from across the UK gathered to celebrate the great work delivered over the past year in reducing antibiotic resistance and increasing public and health professional awareness. The national Antibiotic Guardian Awards held in London last week and hosted by Public Health England, rewarded a range of organisations for excellence in the field of antibiotic stewardship. Categories included staff engagement, prescribing, diagnostics, community engagement and many more. Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Dr Keith Ridge presented the awards and spoke passionately about the importance of stewardship in the face of the global challenge of antibiotic resistance. He cited the progress made by Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies as well as those present who had been nominated.
Winners on the evening included NHS Tayside who picked up the award for staff engagement following an initiative which enhanced nursing knowledge around antimicrobial stewardship. This subsequently reduced the levels of inappropriate samples sent to the lab for urinary tract infections by 29% NHS Bath and North-East Somerset collected the award for community engagement following their ‘See it, snap it, share it’ campaign which educated the community and school children about the importance of appropriate antibiotic use and how to prevent the spread of infection using the Antibiotic Guardian and eBug resources. The school children created posters following their education sessions to illustrate what they had learned. The posters designed by the children are on display around the region. The engagement from B&NES sees them topping the proportion of Antibiotic Guardians/100,000 chart (PHE Fingertips) .
Amongst the organisations that were highly commended is the West Lancashire Scouts, who have implemented an Antibiotic Guardian scouts badge as part of their community impact t agenda. So far 200 badges have been awarded and over 2000 scouts are in the process of earning their badges.
Speaking about the importance of the awards in the promotion of Antibiotic Stewardship, Lead Pharmacist for Public Health England and Antibiotic Guardian Campaign Manager, Diane Ashiru-Oredope said:
“As always, we were extremely impressed with the quality of entries for the Antibiotic Guardian awards this year. Antimicrobial stewardship can be a difficult concept to communicate and encourage people to take action around and so we’re delighted by the creativity of activities that are happening around the country.
Public Health England is committed to reducing levels of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing; to achieve this we need to work closely with our partners across the health system. The awards helps bring these partners together and share new thinking as well as successes. We would like to thank all those who took part and all those who continue to work across the UK to help tackle antimicrobial resistance.”