View the photos from the evening here (AGAwards23)
The sixth Antibiotic Guardian Shared Learning Event and Awards took place on Tuesday 2nd May to share learning and to celebrate the work of healthcare professionals across the UK and worldwide in tackling antimicrobial resistance. These awards form part of the ongoing Antibiotic Guardian campaign, led by the UK Health Security Agency in collaboration with UK devolved administrations and professional bodies.
The Antibiotic Guardian campaign aims to increase commitment and raise awareness among the public as well as human and animal health professionals about how we can slow the development of resistant bacteria and prevent the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance threatens the longevity of modern medicine as without effective antibiotics many treatments, including routine surgeries and chemotherapy, will become increasingly dangerous, and currently treatable infections will become difficult or even impossible to treat.
As part of the campaign, groups including students and educators, farmers, families, veterinary, medical, nursing and pharmacy professionals, and local and national organisations can sign up to become Antibiotic Guardians by choosing a pledge on the dedicated website.
This year’s event was conducted as a hybrid event with more than 130 individuals attending in person or online. Applying our learning from hosting the virtual event in 2020, we were also able to live to stream the event to allow colleagues who were unable to attend in person to join in the shared learning opportunities and celebration of the fantastic work which is being done to combat antimicrobial resistance.
The event was attended by colleagues based in health organisations across the UK, as well as several international attendees, highlighting the international reach of the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and the dedication worldwide to overcoming this global challenge.
Award categories included Animal Health, Agriculture and Food Supply, Children and Family, Community Communications, Diagnostic Stewardship, Innovation and Technology, Prescribing and Stewardship, Public Engagement, Research, Multi-Country Collaboration, and the Das Pillay Memorial Award. For the first time this year, the COVID-19 Learning category was introduced to highlight the advances in knowledge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted the fight against AMR.
This year’s MC was Jordan Charlesworth and the event started with the Thank You Antibiotics Patient video and featured speeches from many prominent figures in the field of antimicrobial resistance, including Prof. Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor for the UK Health Security Agency.
A poignant video and speech from patient advocate Vanessa Cater about her own battle with a resistant infection reminded us of the devastating effect antimicrobial resistance can have on people’s lives and why the work we are doing is so important.
Dr Richard Irvine, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, was an honorary guest for the evening and presented the awards alongside Prof. Diane Ashiru-Oredope (Lead for the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, Lead Pharmacist for the AMR Programme UK Health Security Agency and Chair for the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance). As part of his speech, Dr Irvine highlighted the importance of using a One Health approach to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
For the closing address, Dr David Webb, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, spoke of the global importance of AMR and the crucial role antibiotics play in modern medicine. He outlined how antimicrobial stewardship has progressed from simply restricting the use of antimicrobials to now focusing on the importance of using antimicrobials wisely, balancing the risks of undertreatment with the risks of overtreatment and highlighted that the NHS will continue to support the implementation of the UK National Action Plan. After congratulating both the award winners and all of those who entered their important work, he stressed how much the work of individuals in this field is valued and that all bright ideas should be shared and implemented across the NHS to have the maximum impact possible for patient benefit.
Following a judging and peer review process of 65 entries (including 9 international), winners announced on the night included the Commonwealth Pharmacy Association – winners of the Innovation & Technology award for the development of a board and online game to educate on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship. Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford & the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust collected the award for best research project for their work looking at managing penicillin allergy in primary care. The diagnostic stewardship category was won by Digital Health and Care Wales/Cardiff University for their evaluation of a sore throat test and treat service in community pharmacies and the public engagement category was won by NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB for their work bringing together organisations across the Midlands, to encourage safe disposal of antibiotics by the public. RBA Initiative was also commended for their Antimicrobial Resistance Schools Clubs as part of the children and family category.
The theme of global collaborations highlighted in previous years’ awards was continued this year with FDI Antibiotics Working Group winning the Community Communications category for their work engaging the global dental profession to help tackle antibiotic resistance and the Nottingham Trent University and Makerere University winning the Multicounty collaboration category for their work scaling-up interventions for strengthening antimicrobial stewardship using a One Health approach in Wakiso district, Uganda
Alongside these, other notable winners were the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board who received the Animal Health, Agriculture & Food Supply Award for their project using electronic reports of antibiotic use in livestock, and Arwain DGC, winners of the Prescribing & Stewardship award, for their work establishing a Veterinary Prescribing Champion network to promote antimicrobial stewardship across Welsh veterinary practices demonstrating the One Health approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance.
The new COVID-19 learning award was given to the University of Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit for their work showing that randomised trials from the PRINCIPLE Trial early on in the pandemic contributed to antimicrobial stewardship world-wide.
The awards also recognise innovation in the field of antimicrobial stewardship at a junior level with the Das Pillay Antimicrobial Stewardship Memorial Award, won by Alexander Rond-Alliston. Alexander was nominated for his work on an antimicrobial quality improvement project, developing a tool that has been shared with many acute Trusts in the NHS for improved decision making
A brilliant night celebrating the achievements of organisations and individuals working tirelessly to help combat antibiotic resistance and protect antibiotics.
Professor Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Lead for the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and Chair for the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance, said:
“The sixth Antibiotic Guardian Shared Learning Event and Awards, provided us with an excellent opportunity to recognise and champion organisations and individuals who have demonstrated achievement in their work to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). AMR remains an ongoing significant global, public, and clinical health threat we face. It is often now referred to as the silent pandemic with 4·95 million (3·62–6·57) deaths associated with bacterial-resistant infections in 2019. The Antibiotic Guardian Shared Learning event and awards also embed shared learning and opportunities for collaborations with poster presentations on the night and videos available on the Antibiotic Guardian shared learning platform www.antibioticguardian.com/shared-learning
These awards continue to highlight the wealth of impactful work taking place across the country and abroad. We received several entries from both human and animal health recognising the importance of the One Health approach required to tackle AMR. We were delighted to continue to receive entries from colleagues outside the UK, highlighting the important global collaborations as well as COVID-19 learning.
I’d like to personally congratulate all the shortlisted entries and those recognised on the night for their contributions. At UK Health Security Agency we will continue to support and work with partners across the human, animal, and environmental health systems to tackle antimicrobial resistance.”
List of Winners, Highly Commended and Commended
Animal Health, Agriculture and Food Supply
Winner: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Highly commended: RUMA
Children and Family
Commended: RBA Initiative
Winner: FDI Antibiotics Working Group Chair
Highly commended: Arwain DGC
Winner: Digital Health and Care Wales/Cardiff University
Innovation and Technology
Winner: Commonwealth Pharmacists Association
Highly commended: NHS England
Prescribing and Stewardship
Winner: Arwain DGC
Highly commended: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
Winner: NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB
Highly commended: Ducit Blue Foundation
Winner: Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford & University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Highly commended: University of Oxford
Winner: Nottingham Trent University and Makerere University
Das Pillay Memorial Antimicrobial Stewardship Award
Winner: Alexander Rond-Alliston
Commended: Aarash Ahmadi
Winner: University of Oxford Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit
Highly commended: Nottingham University Hospitals
Highly commended: University Hospital Southampton