Public Health Minister, Seema Kennedy, has confirmed that Professor Dame Sally Davies will take on the role of UK Special Envoy on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) later this year. Dame Sally will be working across all sectors to deliver a ‘One Health’ response to AMR, which includes health, agriculture and the environment.
The appointment of Dame Sally follows the government’s 20-year vision and 5-year national action plan published earlier this year, setting out how the UK will contribute to containing and controlling AMR by 2040.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “AMR is a complex challenge which needs local, national and global action. The UK should be proud of its world-leading work on AMR. We have made tangible progress but it is essential we maintain momentum. I am honoured to have been asked to continue this vital work on behalf of the UK government.”
Last year the government committed £32 million funding to accelerate the UK’s work in the global fight against AMR. The awarded funding will support the development of a state-of-the-art, virtual ‘open access’ centre that will link health outcomes and prescribing data. This technology, led by Public Health England (PHE), will gather real-time patient data on resistant infections, helping clinicians to make more targeted choices about when to use antibiotics and cutting unnecessary prescriptions.
PHE will use £5 million in funding to develop a fully functional model ward, the first of its kind in the UK, to better understand how hospital facilities can be designed to improve infection control and reduce the transmission of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Other successful funds include £4.4 million to Manchester University to test ‘individualised’ approaches to antibiotic prescribing by bringing together patient care and clinical research, and £3.5 million to the University of Liverpool to apply innovative genome sequencing to enable more personalised antibiotic prescribing.
Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy said: “Antibiotic resistance poses an enormous risk to our NHS – we are already seeing the harmful effect resistant bugs can have on patient safety in our hospitals. It is vital that we retain the irreplaceable expertise of Professor Dame Sally Davies – an international expert in AMR – and continue to invest in research.”