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Being antibiotic aware

Infections that cannot be easily treated with antibiotics present a serious threat to human health across the world. In healthcare, many routine treatments and surgery depend on antibiotics to prevent the development of infections.

As antibiotic resistance is encouraged by exposure to antibiotics, it is essential that these are used only when necessary. However, many factors can lead healthcare workers to prescribe antibiotics when their use may not be required.

Increasing and improving the education of healthcare professionals and healthcare students about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance has been highlighted as a key element of efforts to improve antibiotic use.

For such reasons, a collaboration of researchers and healthcare workers from several universities and health centres across the UK led by Professor Molly Courtenay, Professor of Health Sciences at Cardiff University, developed a competency framework which supports the optimal use of antibiotics.

The competencies have been endorsed by scientific and professional societies including:

  • The Royal College of Nursing
  • The Royal College of General Practitioners
  • The College of Podiatry
  • The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

In addition, the competencies have been identified as an educational resource to support the delivery of the UK’s five-year national action plan ‘Tackling antimicrobial resistance 2019-2024’. These can be found on page 22 of the action plan, under the heading ‘Improving professional education, training and public engagement’.

Being Antibiotic Aware - AMS Competencies

A competency framework which supports the optimal use of antibiotics.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

The content of this competency framework supports the implementation of recommendations in the NICE guideline on antimicrobial stewardship. It also supports statements 1, 3 and 4 in the NICE quality standard for antimicrobial stewardship.

NICE September 2019