In 2008, the Scottish Management of Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan (ScotMARAP) was published by the Scottish Government. One of the key actions was initiation of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), hosted within the Scottish Medicines Consortium, to take forward national implementation of the key recommendations of this action plan. The primary objective of SAPG is to co-ordinate and deliver a national framework or programme of work for antimicrobial stewardship. This programme, led by SAPG, is delivered by NHS National Services Scotland (Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division), NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, and NHS National Education Scotland as well as NHS board Antimicrobial Management Teams. Between 2008 and 2010, SAPG has achieved a number of early successes, which are the subject of this review: (i) through measures to optimise prescribing in hospital and primary care, combined with infection prevention measures, SAPG has contributed significantly to reducing Clostridium difficile infection rates in Scotland; (ii) there has been engagement of all key stakeholders at local and national levels to ensure an integrated approach to antimicrobial stewardship within the wider healthcare-associated infection agenda; (iii) development and implementation of data management systems to support quality improvement; (iv) development of training materials on antimicrobial stewardship for healthcare professionals; and (v) improving clinical management of infections (e.g. community-acquired pneumonia) through quality improvement methodology. The early successes achieved by SAPG demonstrate that this delivery model is effective and provides the leadership and focus required to implement antimicrobial stewardship to improve antimicrobial prescribing and infection management across NHS Scotland.
- antimicrobial agents
- antimicrobial stewardship
- Clostridium difficile
- unintended consequences
- antibiotic prescribing quality indicators