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Pharmacist independent prescribing may improve antibiotic use

Prudent use of antibiotics will increase as more pharmacists qualify as independent prescribers, a group of MPs, healthcare professionals and patient group and industry representatives were told this week (May 2008).

Speaking at a Westminster Health Forum seminar about healthcare-associated infections and patient safety, Wendy Lawson, lead pharmacist, infectious diseases, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, outlined the contribution of pharmacists to infection control.

She described the pharmacist’s role in antibiotic policy development, noting that at her trust the infectious diseases (ID) pharmacists, together with the ID consultants, have designed an antibiotic “pocket guide” for doctors, as well as drawing up guidance on infection prophylaxis in surgical patients.  

Responding to questions about how the hospital infection control team links with community services, Ms Lawson explained that a primary care trust pharmacist sits on the hospital trust’s antibiotic steering group, and that trust guidelines take the PCT antibiotic guidelines into consideration.

The PCT walk-in centre antibiotic guidelines are also endorsed by the hospital trust antibiotic steering group and the ID pharmacist is involved in training nursing staff at the centre.

Ms Lawson added that the trust’s ID team is also developing a patient group direction to speed up patient access to meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus eradication therapy when it is prescribed on an FP10 in pre-assessment clinics.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10014940

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