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Society launches antimicrobial prescribing resource with the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Today (Friday 19 November 2021) the British Pharmacological Society and the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) have jointly launched a new eLearning resource – the BSAC Antimicrobial Prescribing Knowledge Check. The resource – hosted by the Society’s assessment and learning branch, BPS Assessment – aims to raise awareness of best practice in the prescribing and stewardship of antimicrobials among clinicians. This announcement comes during the World Health Organisation’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week – taking place from 18-24 November 2021.

The resource supports appropriate use of antimicrobials, including reducing inappropriate prescriptions, to combat resistance and reduce adverse effects in patients. The resource is aimed at anyone involved in the prescribing or review of antimicrobials, and questions cover common scenarios from hospitals and primary care settings. The resource is freely available via the BPS Assessment website and is part of a wider package of information and resources that the BSAC is also launching this week.

The BPS Assessment supports the work of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, students and educators all over the world by identifying knowledge gaps and creating high quality learning and assessment materials in collaboration with experts. Its aim is to give prescribers the skills and knowledge they need to achieve better prescribing and better patient safety.

This collaboration is part of the Society’s long-standing commitment to support the safe and effective development and use of medicines. Our work on prescribing education and training is part of our wider priority to increase the impact of UK clinical pharmacology.

Clinical pharmacologists are experts in the development and use of medicines, and leaders in research and education. They use knowledge of how medicines work and affect the body to provide integrated assessment and care, including in complex prescribing situations, and develop better medicines. Investing in clinical pharmacology will support the wider NHS workforce to be skilled in the development and use of medicines, improving patient care now and enabling the NHS to be ‘research ready’ in an era of personalised healthcare.

The Society and partners in the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance are working to grow UK clinical pharmacology and raise awareness of it as a career pathway. We have worked with NHS England and Improvement to develop a ten year strategy for clinical pharmacology. We want to see £57.5m invested by 2031 to double the number of clinical pharmacologists in the NHS to 215 consultants and 87 training posts, to create the workforce of the future.
Professor Simon Maxwell, Medical Director of BPS Assessment, said:

The theme of this year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week is ‘Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance’. Raising awareness of good prescribing practice among healthcare professionals is an important way of making an impact across the whole healthcare system. Not only will doing this support the confidence and competence of prescribers, it will encourage dialogue and shared decision making with patients that can support a lasting shift in prescribing culture.

This new resource, and the other great resources launched by the BSAC this week, will be important tools for prescribers and I hope they will be widely shared and used. The new resource builds on years of experience in prescribing education at the Society, including the national prescribing assessment run jointly with the Medical Schools Council and the bespoke resources we are creating through BPS Assessment to support training in priority areas and on a global scale.

Tracey Guise, Chief Executive Officer of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, said:

The BSAC welcome the launch of the Antimicrobial Prescribing Knowledge Check resource which we have created in collaboration with BPS. This resource will be invaluable in supporting prescribers of the future to secure the skills they need to use antimicrobials safely and effectively, improve patient outcomes and combat the ongoing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, President of the British Pharmacological Society, said:

The collaboration with the BSAC is just one example of how clinical pharmacology as a small specialty brings expert knowledge to multi-professional partnerships to enable an NHS workforce that is skilled in the use of medicines. Over the next 10 years, the NHS must invest in the workforce of the future to address key health challenges such as antimicrobial resistance and an ageing population. This workforce will be characterised by multi-professional teams working in integrated care pathways, embedding research into care and taking an evidence-based approach to the development and use of medicines. Clinical pharmacology will be a critical part of this workforce.

Learn more about other prescribing resources available through the BPS Assessment portal.

Read more about how clinical pharmacology can help address the challenges and opportunities of the coming decade.

The British Pharmacological Society is part of the Learned Society Partnership on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Published: 19 Nov 2021 in Society news