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DHSC release five-year AMR action plan

By May 14, 2024No Comments

BIVDA noted with interest the UK’s 2024-2029 Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan, released last week by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The policy contains several themes that BIVDA is supportive of, but is light on detail. AMR is a systemic threat that requires systemic measures to tackle. Diagnostics are both a solution in themselves – by ruling in or out the requirement for antibiotics – and also an enabler for other solutions.

Chief Executive Helen Dent said: “AMR has been a globally-recognised challenge for many years. DHSC published their 20-year vision in January 2019. It was a decade ago that the then Prime Minister commissioned the O’Neil Review, which urged the mandatory use rapid point of care tests before providing an antibiotic prescription.

Diagnostics are a key weapon in the fight against AMR. BIVDA urge the NHS to adopt the cross-industry recommendations in our 2024 consensus statement, and will continue to work to drive the uptake of point of care testing in the NHS.”

BIVDA’s AMR Lead Dr Jayne Ellis comments: “While the plan recognises the key role diagnostics play, the devil is in the detail. Rather than call for the development of new diagnostics, the NHS should more efficiently procure and deploy the currently available diagnostics in the shortest possible timescale. To drive uptake and monitor performance, there must be clear AMR KPIs, including those incentivising and recording the use of diagnostics.

Whilst we welcome continued investment on new diagnostic technologies and genomic tools and bringing products to market quickly, such as the PACE programme and support for Clinical Trial Infrastructure including Platform Trial Methodology, there is lack of focus on utilising currently available technology to make the ‘big policy win for AMR’ as stated in the report.”

A full assessment will be made available to members by our usual communication channels in due course.

Ben Kemp