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Antibiotic Guardian Champions at London North West University Healthcare Trust

Antibiotic Guardian Champions at London North West University Healthcare Trust
Cassandra Watson, Lead Antimicrobial Pharmacist


I’ve worked as an Antimicrobial Pharmacist for nearly 10 years, and I believe that combating antimicrobial resistance requires collective responsibility, which is why I consider initiatives like Antibiotic Guardian so important. Raising awareness and encouraging individuals to pledge their commitment through Antibiotic Guardian instils a sense of accountability in both healthcare professionals and the public.
In 2023, I decided to introduce the Antibiotic Guardian Champions (AGC) within my organisation London North West University Hospital (LNWUH), as part of our Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme (ASP).

We invited all medical, nursing and pharmacy staff to join the fight against antibiotic resistance by becoming an AGC. We aimed to foster a culture of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and enhance our collective ability to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance within our healthcare setting.

Their role was to promote adherence to AMS guidelines and lead on AMS projects within their teams or units.

To promote the roles, we listed the key benefits of being an AGC :

  • Become a key influencer on AMS.
  • Support colleagues and peers in best practice in infection prevention control (IPC) and AMS, whilst also receiving a badge for easy identification of their role.
  • Be acknowledged as a member of the organisations AMS Team
  • Receiving a certificate which can be utilised for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • Receiving continuous support from the AMS Team to share knowledge and experience within the organisation.

Furthermore, we encouraged participation in the national campaign against antibiotic resistance by taking the pledge on the antibioticguardian.com website.

To increase learning we requested completion of the HEE AMR e-learning level 1 training on AMR: https://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/Component/Details/411372 and completion of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy Antibiotic Review Kit training: https://bsac.org.uk/the-antibiotic-review-kit-ark-10k/

So far, we’ve recruited 46 antibiotic Guardian Champions across the whole organisation who have completed some amazing projects.

 

Amna Farid a Specialist Pharmacist in Gastroenterology and Nutrition, signed up and carried out a project focused on intravenous-oral switches, raising awareness among clinical teams about the importance of appropriate switches. She designed a poster that is in use across the organisation.

“Engaging as an antimicrobial guardian has really allowed me to become more proactive in antimicrobial stewardship to make clinically safe and effective changes to patient’s antibiotics at a ward level.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Mervin Babu and Dr Issam Kalam, Emergency Department Registrars have recently completed a project on assessing antibiotic prescribing in the emergency department, leading to the development of training sessions and updates to the antimicrobial guidelines.

Arif Akbar, Charge Nurse for one of our surgery wards and an Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Link Champion, our first AGC nurse to sign up. He is championing active nurse engagement in AMS across his ward and raising awareness of appropriate antimicrobial prescribing and review.

“As an IPC Link Champion Nurse, I actively researched antimicrobial resistance, recognising it as a significant challenge for infection control. This motivated me to pursue antimicrobial stewardship and become an Antimicrobial Guardian.”

 

 

 

Suhrab Sayfi, Highly Specialist Pharmacist – Endocrinology signed up and joined our penicillin allergy testing service to test patients with low-risk penicillin allergy as inpatients to help remove spurious penicillin allergies in patients requiring antibiotics.

“Antimicrobial stewardship is incredibly important in the management of diabetes. A significant number of these patients develop diabetic foot infections and require targeted treatment therefore by de-labelling penicillin allergies where possible, we give patients a safer and more effective treatment of their infections. We all need to ensure we are playing our part in ensuring antibiotics are used appropriately and effectively.”

 

 

 

 

 

I encourage everyone to visit the Antibiotic Guardian webpage to become an Antibiotic Guardian and take the pledge. If you are an Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) lead, I urge you to promote similar initiatives within your organisation.