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Antimicrobial stewardship in care homes

New UK-wide research co-authored by researchers at Boots UK, Public Health England and NHS Improvement highlights potential areas where community pharmacy teams can support both residents and carers in care homes in the appropriate and effective use of antibiotics.

The research, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that half of care home residents in the UK were prescribed at least one antibiotic over a 12-month period.

The researchers concluded that there is an opportunity for community pharmacies to work more closely with care home teams and identify potential interactions and any known allergies when dispensing acute antibiotic prescriptions. It is hoped this would optimise antibiotic use and minimise the risk of antimicrobial resistance and treatment failure.

Marc Donovan, Boots UK chief pharmacist, commented: “This research highlights that there is a real opportunity for community pharmacy to play an even greater role in supporting the safe and effective use of medicines, and continue to support the implementation and delivery of the Government’s five-year action plan on antimicrobial resistance.”

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