A five-year plan has been launched to help tackle antimicrobial resistance through improved education and prescribing practice.
The strategy released by Public Health England (PHE) aims to improve education, training for healthcare professionals, including developing guidelines on how infections in patients can be managed when caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Earlier this year a report from the Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies laid out the need for urgent action to slow down the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
Professor Anthony Kessel, director of Public Health Strategy at PHE said that antibiotic resistance is a “natural and inevitable phenomenon” which comes from inappropriate antibiotic use.
He said: “Although we cannot eliminate antibiotic resistance we can improve our antibiotic stewardship, infection prevention and control practices.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time and we need to ensure that everything that can be done to mitigate its effect is acted upon as a matter of priority.”
The new strategy will aim to ensure that good infection prevention and control is the norm across the NHS and social care.
PHE has also pledged to improve access to prescribing and antibiotic resistance data in primary and secondary care to shape guidelines and the training of prescribers.