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Conserve existing antibiotics, stimulate new ones, forms basis of new DH strategy

A two-pronged approach of conserving existing antibiotics and stimulating the development of new ones forms the basis of the DH's Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.

It acknowledges that ensuring that antibiotics are used responsibly and less often 'will not happen overnight' and acknowldges the efforts GPs have made to rationalise their use. But it states NHS England will support work to improve antimicrobial resistance surveillance, infection prevention and control and adherence to guidance.

And NICE has been asked to develop 'comprehensive evidence-based antimicrobial prescribing guidance for primary and secondary care.'

The stratgey also encourages more GPs to use guidance such as TARGET (treat antibiotics pesponsibly, guidance and education tool) and STAR (stemming the tide of antibiotic resistance educational programme).