As the number of prescriptions for antibiotics falls, a new toolkit has been launched to help support effective antimicrobial stewardship.
The toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Faculty of General Dental Practice UK, the British Dental Association and Public Health England, includes a self-audit tool and patient-facing posters and leaflets to help raise awareness.
‘Dentists have a vital role to play in keeping antibiotics working,’ FGDP(UK) dean, Dr Mick Horton, said.
‘Audit helps us fulfil our professional responsibility only to prescribe antibiotics when it is appropriate to do so, and the new tool is an easy way to measure our practice against clinical guidance, and identify, implement and sustain any changes we need to put in place.
‘Developing this tool has been a long-standing ambition of the faculty, and I would like to thank Dr Nick Palmer, FGDP(UK)’s AMR lead, for his enormous contribution to this work.’
The number of people dying annually from antibiotic-resistant infections is set to rise to 10 million by 2050.
Dentists currently issue around 5% of all antibiotic prescriptions on the NHS and have had a statutory duty since 2015 to ensure appropriate antimicrobial use to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance.
Despite this, Public Health England (PHE) has found that antibiotic resistance in the UK still on the rise.
‘Our profession is showing real leadership in the fight against antibiotic resistance, and this new toolkit gives all dentists the chance to play their part,’ BDA chair, Mick Armstrong, said.
‘It contains all the tools colleagues need to track and monitor prescribing patterns, stay compliant and help patients understand when antibiotics are appropriate.’