Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as a global public health threat and the UK Government is committed to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) as a means to slow the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.¹ In 2016, the UK Government set a target to reduce inappropriate prescribing of antimicrobials by 50% by the year 2020.²
All pharmacists, regardless of setting, have AMS obligations and with over 1.6 million visits each day, community pharmacy teams have a key role in contributing to this target by educating patients and the public on the appropriate, and more importantly inappropriate, use of antimicrobials. Advising on the prevention and self-care of minor ailments and supporting appropriate use of NHS resources are key roles in AMS.
This guide will look at how pharmacists and their teams working in community pharmacy can contribute to AMS: it will look at how roles and services already provided by community pharmacy contribute to AMS and consider what else can be done.
Although aimed at community pharmacy in GB, much of the information in this guidance is relevant to pharmacists in other settings especially those working in primary care or care homes.