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Question for Department of Health

UIN 210248, tabled on 13 October 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure the continuing effectiveness of antibiotics.

Answered on

20 October 2014

The Government is taking a wide range of measures as part of implementing the UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy. In addition to work to galvanise international action and stimulate drug development, conserving the efficacy of antibiotics through improved infection prevention and appropriate prescribing is a key objective at the heart of our programme.

Following the findings of the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilization and Resistance (October 2014), we have developed new antibiotic prescribing measures for primary and secondary care to help reduce variability in antibiotic prescribing that together with guidance should help to improve antimicrobial stewardship.

We are updating a key resource for secondary care, called Start Smart Then Focus, on the appropriate use of antibiotics, and have updated a resource called TARGET (Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance and Educational Tool) for general practitioners to help them educate patients about appropriate use of antibiotics.

The first annual report detailing full progress on implementing the UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, together with details of future plans, will be published later this year.