Trust's antibiotic guidelines given national credit


Southampton’s teaching hospitals have been recognised by one of the UK’s top medical organisations for leading the way in use of antibiotics in the fight against infection.

The British Medical Association, the professional body for doctors and medical students, praised Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust’s development of clear and simple antimicrobial prescribing guidelines for staff.

Careful and restricted prescribing plays a key part in preventing bugs’ resistance to treatment, and the policy – which is available in hard copy on all wards – outlines simple measures to ensure infection medication is only given in the correct circumstances.

The guidance urges staff to closely document justifications for starting therapy, to administer antimicrobials orally wherever possible and regularly refer to consultant microbiologists for authorisation and advice.

SUHT’s pharmacy department has also produced a pocket antibiotic booklet which is issued to all prescribers, as well as being available through the Trust’s intranet site. The team works closely with the microbiologists to make sure the guidelines are followed.

Martin Stephens, associate medical director of clinical effectiveness and medicines, said: “Our microbiology doctors and pharmacists have worked extremely hard on developing this policy to further enhance the fight against infection and we are delighted to have received national credit.”

SUHT’s antimicrobial prescribing policy appears in the BMA Board of Science’s Tackling healthcare associated infections through effective policy action report, published this month.

Posted on Thursday 25 June 2009