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Preventing misuse of antibiotics

12 February 2019

Pharmacist holding medicine box and capsule pack

A Cardiff University-led resource which provides healthcare students and professionals with vital knowledge to help prevent and control antimicrobial resistance has just been included in the Government’s five- year national action plan to tackle this growing problem.

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.

With this in mind, 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 the new competency framework to support the optimal use of antibiotics.

The framework has also 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, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Professor Courtenay said: “Increasing and improving the education of healthcare professionals and healthcare students about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance is vital in our efforts to improve antibiotic use.”

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