Model ward to be built in fight against AMR

Public Health England will use £5 million in funding to develop a fully functional model ward in attempts to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

The first of its kind in the UK, the ward will be used to better understand how hospital facilities can be designed to improve infection control and reduce the transmission of antibiotic-resistant infections.

This is part of last year’s £32 million government funding to accelerate the UK’s work in the global fight against AMR. This includes the development of a state-of-the-art, virtual ‘open access’ centre that will link health outcomes and prescribing data, £4.4 million being given 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 has also confirmed that the government will be retaining the world-leading expertise of outgoing Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, as UK special envoy on AMR. Dame Sally will be working across all sectors to deliver a ‘One Health’ response to AMR, which includes health, agriculture and the environment.

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. This funding to prop up the facilities for novel ideas and technologies, supported by the continued leadership of Dame Sally, will play a vital role in helping us to tackle this threat.”

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.”

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