News story

A month left to get ready for European Antibiotic Awareness Day

Chief executives and directors of public health are reminded to get ready for European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Tuberculosis
Sanofi Pasteur

Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem and a major threat to the future of healthcare - national and international action is needed to improve treatment, education and monitoring.

European Antibiotic Awareness Day is a Europe-wide initiative designed to emphasise the importance of responsible antibiotic prescribing in both primary and secondary care. It offers an opportunity to highlight the problem of antimicrobial resistance and encourage all across health and social care to take action against it.

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed medicines – 34.7% of patients surveyed in the national hospital antimicrobial point prevalence survey 2011 were on antibiotics and around 80-90% of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care. Health professionals across primary and secondary care therefore have a vital role to play in supporting responsible prescribing and engaging with patients and the public.

Previous evaluation of European Antibiotic Awareness Day activities shows that local action can have a very positive impact on practice and patient outcomes. As in previous years a range of communications and educational materials are available to help support local campaigns.

Local teams can use European Antibiotic Awareness Day to improve antimicrobial stewardship by:

  • running a local campaign in GP practices or hospitals in their area
  • highlighting European Antibiotic Awareness Day on their websites or social media channels
  • encouraging GPs to use the Target toolkit developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners to improve prescribing practice
  • encourage local implementation of the Start Smart then Focus antimicrobial stewardship guidance
  • discussing implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programmes with their local Director of Infection Prevention and Control and Chief Pharmacist

Further information about European Antibiotic Awareness Day is available from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

For further information please contact the AMR team

Published 18 October 2013