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Minister launches plan to tackle antibiotic resistance threat

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

A new plan to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance, one of the greatest health threats facing the country, has been launched by Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford.
Monday 07 December 2015

The plan provides the blueprint for specific, co-ordinated actions at national and local levels reinforcing the need to work together. The public consultation provides the opportunity for patients, the public, and other individuals and bodies to let us have their views about the priorities for Wales in tackling resistance.

Key points from the plan include:

  • Health boards will develop plans improve infection prevention plans to eliminate avoidable healthcare associated infections in hospitals, nursing homes and other health and social care environments
  • Health boards will reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and support Antimicrobial Prescribing Teams to promote prudent antibiotic use
  • The Welsh Government, through Health and Care Research Wales, will prioritise research into antimicrobial resistance
  • Public Health Wales will improve the data surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and develop an alerts system for real-time identification of resistant organisms.

Within Wales, antimicrobial usage and resistance has been increasing year on year in hospitals in line with the global pattern.  However in the last two years there has been the first signs of a reduction in primary care.

Mark Drakeford said:

“Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria adapt so antibiotics fail – is happening right across the world.  Without urgent action we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.

“We know that many common and life-threatening infections, such as E.coli bacteraemia – the commonest organism found in blood tests in the UK - are becoming difficult or even impossible to treat.  We have to act now.

“The effectiveness of procedures such as organ transplantation or chemotherapy would be at considerable risk without effective antibiotics being available.  The threat is clear – antimicrobial resistance is recognised by the UK Government’s Civil Emergency Risk Register.”

Public Health Wales is supporting Welsh Government with the promotion of the consultation in NHS organisations.

Dr Marion Lyons, Director of Public Health, said:

“Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and global threat to health. The Delivery Plan developed by the Welsh Government is an important piece of work describing how health organisations and professionals in Wales can contribute to the international strategy to reduce AMR.

“It is vital that we work together by signing up to and delivering a central plan. This is the opportunity for NHS Wales organisations to input into this plan and also promote the opportunity to other stakeholders using our Communications Pack.”

Mark Drakeford added:

“Everybody has a responsibility here.  Medical professionals have a responsibility not to prescribe inappropriately, and we all have a responsibility to understand that antibiotics aren’t always the appropriate response to illness – we must use them prudently.”



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Health and social services 07 December 2015 Programme for Government - Healthcare North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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