Local team wins national award to keep antibiotics working

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An NHS team working across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have won a national award for their use of innovation and technology to keep antibiotics working.

Public Health England established the Antibiotic Guardian pledge campaign in 2014, calling on everyone in the UK, the public and healthcare community make better use of these vital medicines.

From more than 200 entries, NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) team were named winners of the Antibiotic Guardian Award for Innovation and Technology for developing a system to help prescribers diagnose and treat Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in over 65 years.

The guidance for diagnosing and treating a UTI can be complex to interpret, therefore the Medicines Optimisation Pharmacists across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland joined with Leicestershire Health Informatics Service to develop an IT support tool for prescribers in Primary Care.

This tool guides prescribers through the diagnosis and treatment, supporting them to choose the most appropriate antibiotic if required, but will also reduce the number of antibiotics prescribed when they don’t need to be.

Anne-Marie Harrison, Senior Pharmacist at West Leicestershire CCG said: “This award is testament to collaborative working as the project was a joint effort between NHS Leicester City CCG, NHS East Leicestershire and NHS Rutland CCG, NHS West Leicestershire CCG and Leicestershire Health Informatics Service.

“We are all really pleased our hard work has been recognised and hope our efforts make a real difference, supporting prescribers and improving patient care and outcomes.”

A “Care Home Assessment Tool” has also been developed alongside the protocol to offer further support.  This focusses on care homes recording the resident’s symptoms and faxing this information to the GP rather than performing urine dip test which is no longer recommended as a diagnostic tool in over 65 years.

Posters and leaflets on hydration and UTI prevention were also produced and distributed to care homes across LLR.

The tools developed will help to:

  • Support the correct diagnosis of UTIs
  • Reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing
  • Guide prescribers to choose the right antibiotic if required
  • Reduce blood stream infections through improved diagnosis and treatment of UTIs
  • Educate patients and carers on prevention of UTI through information leaflets and posters

Established in 2016, the Awards celebrate best-practice on tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through Antibiotic Stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control from across the UK (and Europe around the world).

Improper use of antibiotics can lead to these potentially life-saving medicines becoming ineffective.  Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous - Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

 

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From left to right: Anne-Marie Harrison, Senior Pharmacist, West Leicestershire CCG, Shazia Patel, Senior Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist, East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG and Mini Satheesh, HNN Pharmacist, Leicester City CCG