Keeping a Tight Control of Antibiotics

Resistance to antibiotics is one of the biggest health threats we are facing, and antimicrobial stewardship is the practice of making sure that antibiotics are used only when necessary. It also helps ensure that the most appropriate medicine is selected at the right dose, frequency and duration to optimise patient outcomes whilst minimising adverse effects.

These principles apply wherever antibiotics are used including acute hospitals, primary care and in community hospitals and care homes.

Clare Colligan is NHS Forth Valley’s antimicrobial pharmacist and has recently been involved in developing a specialist national competency framework, to support the consistent delivery of antimicrobial stewardship.

Clare explained: “The more we use these drugs, the more resistance to them increases, meaning that there will come a time when simple infections could become life threatening if we don’t take action now. This work clearly demonstrates excellence in pharmacy education and has delivered a fit-for-purpose competency-based educational framework in infection and antimicrobial stewardship for pharmacists in Scotland.

Clare will now be a supervisor for supporting other pharmacists through the framework and the experience and knowledge she has gained will further enhance the quality of information she can provide to colleagues in hospital and primary care settings, all of which will contribute to improved patient safety and outcomes.