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RCN Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance

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Following our week of action, Protecting Health: Nursing and Midwifery Successes and Challenges, and to coincide with NHS Change Day (3rd March 2014), I am please to be able to post this supportive RCN statement on antimicrobial Resistance. This is such an important topic and nurses have such a vital role to play, so please take the time to read this statement and I hope that you will all click and tick at our link to make your pledge for NHS Change Day! Protecting Health Campaign Pledge - Viv Bennett

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Antimicrobial resistance: RCN statement in support of Health Protection Week of Action

Antibiotics becoming ineffective is an important issue for nurses. The Royal College of Nursing believes that effective infection prevention and control measures are inextricably linked to reducing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The benefits of infection prevention and control in minimising the transmission of micro-organisms need emphasising and the prominence of infection prevention and control needs raising so that safety is improved. It is crucial that AMR is addressed as a multi-professional issue.

The RCN believes that the contribution of nursing to reduce the threat and impact of antimicrobial resistance can be classified into the following key themes:

-       Reducing the demand for antibiotics

-       Influencing public and patient knowledge and expectations of antibiotic prescribing through their societal contacts and interactions in roles as midwives, health visitors, district, community, school, public health and practice nurses etc.

-      Leading and implementing immunisation programmes across all age groups to prevent avoidable infection and associated morbidity and mortality.

-       Leading and implementing public health strategies to support the public to ‘live well’ and prevent or reduce the burden of long term conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, obesity, smoking cessation and alcohol consumption resulting in reduced healthcare contacts and interventions

Education of the public is recognised as a key factor in reducing expectations of and demands for antibiotics. This, together with greater emphasis on supporting people to ‘live well’ and independently as long as possible is crucial.

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