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On Wednesday, we held our August Infectious Diseases Working Party in-person at the BIVDA office, with over thirty attendees and four excellent speakers.

Mandy Townsend of the Innovation Agency spoke first, detailing a case study developed with her AHSN following the rapid testing and treating of flu in the community last year. The results proved significant, as patients benefitted from quicker pathways and expressed effusive praise in their feedback.

Jane Freeman and Robert Annan of NHSE gave a joint presentation on their work tackling AMR. Evidently, reducing the risks of AMR remains a key priority for the NHS going forward and they are working hard to improve conditions to enhance innovation adoption. Jane Freeman emphasised the need for togetherness in the future approach, from top to bottom, to ensure the problem is tackled. Clear signals were given to industry, which was warmly received by the room. Behavioral changes may, however, be the most challenging aspect of all.

Lastly, Dr Philip Pallman of the University of Cardiff presented on the PROTECT study, which he and his colleague Professor Enitan Carrol have led on. The aim of PROTECT is to assemble a multidisciplinary team of researchers who can plan and prepare a well-designed platform trial, that allows multiple technologies to be evaluated rapidly, and then to be adopted quickly into care to benefit patients.

Helen also spoke of the group’s need to work together to produce a report by the end of the year. If you are keen to be involved and help steer this paper, please contact ben@bivda.org.uk.

We thank everyone who attended and helped enliven the discussion; we look forward to seeing you all next time. You can sign up to the next Infectious Diseases Working Party on 22 November here.

Ben Kemp