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NHS set to miss key targets in fight against antibiotic-resistant infections

The NHS is falling behind in the race to tackle antibiotic-resistant infections, with the service set to miss two key targets. 

As part of the government’s 2019 five-year-action plan to tackle the growth in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the NHS was set the target of reducing the number of healthcare-associated bloodstream infections of three gram-negative bacteria by 25% by March this year, and 50% by the end of March 2024.

Infections caused by E. coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa and klebsiella can cause urine or wound infection, blood poisoning or pneumonia. The AMR action plan said: “In the UK, the biggest drivers of resistance [include] a rise in the incidence of infections, particularly gram-negatives.”

Last week, health and social care secretary Sajd Javid stressed the continuing importance of the issue, stating that antimicrobial resistance is “one of the biggest health threats facing the world”.

Analysis by HSJ has shown there has been only a small decline in the numbers of cases involving the three bacteria since monitoring started. The baseline for measuring the reduction was 2016-17, when there were 23,037 healthcare associated infections related to the bacteria.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 21 April 2022


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