"Unless we take global action, antimicrobial resistance will become an even greater threat to mankind than cancer currently is."  

- Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, April 2016  

This report explores the uptake of key antimicrobial stewardship policy measures by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England. Antimicrobial resistance represents arguably the greatest patient safety threat of our time. How did the report come about?

In April 2016 the Patients Association sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to every Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in England, asking how successfully they were implementing a number of key policy initiatives that promote the adoption of local AMS programmes and support patient safety. Having received responses to these requests from 144 CCGs (out of the 209 in England), the results presented something of a mixed picture.

Almost a third of respondents were not able to confirm whether they had a named individual in place responsible for the implementation of a local AMS programme, and worryingly, one in ten CCGs said they did not have an AMR stewardship programme in place at all, meaning that as many as 5.3 million patients in England are being put at an increased risk of developing potentially avoidable infections.

Our aims:

  • Focus on a collective response, featuring a renewed focus on encouraging the adoption and implementation of the key AMS policy levers already at our disposal, including those that can reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and minimise the risk of AMR.

Our findings:

  • The key findings presented below are based on responses received to the Patients Association’s Freedom of Information requests, from 144 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England.

The responses revealed that:

  • 10% of CCGs do not have a local antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programme in place at all
  • Almost a third (31%) of CCGs do not have a named individual responsible for the implementation of a local AMS programme
  • Only 12% of CCGs have implemented all recommendations from NICE Guideline 15 ‘Antimicrobial Stewardship: systems and processes for effective antimicrobial medicine use’ (NG 15) within their area
  • 7% of CCGs have not brought the Public Health England Patient Safety Alert ‘Addressing antimicrobial resistance through implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship programme’ to the attention of those in leadership role and nor have they reviewed the resources signposted in the Alert
  • CCGs reported mixed uptake rates of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ TARGET Antibiotics Toolkit 
  • Less than a fifth of CCGs (19%) have carried out an evaluation on the cost implications for implementing C-Reactive Protein Point of Care testing (CRP POCT) within their local area.

Download the full report on antimicrobial resistance here

Download the 'Active AMR and sepsis' face sheet here

For more information please contact Heather Eardley, Head of Projects and Partnerships on [email protected]  or 07872 633 189.