Antimicrobial

This page has been set up for health care professionals and patients to access key local antimicrobial guidance and antimicrobial resources to support antimicrobial stewardship in GP practices.

Our aim is to support primary care clinicians to champion and implement antimicrobial stewardship activities.

We have grouped all of the TARGET resources focussing on Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs) in one place to make it easier for you to find them all.

TARGET stands for Treat Antibiotics Responsibly, Guidance, Education and Tools.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?
AMR is the process that occurs when the microorganisms that cause disease (including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) cease to be affected by the drugs we use to kill them and treat the disease, thereby leading to treatment failure. Resistance is a natural phenomenon, however, this process is accelerated by the inappropriate or incorrect use of antimicrobials, poor infection control and global travel. 
When prescribing antimicrobials, prescribers should follow local and national guidelines on: 
•    prescribing the shortest effective course 
•    the most appropriate dose 
•    route of administration. 


What is required to manage appropriately antimicrobial prescribing?
Prescribers should discuss with patients the likely nature of the condition, their views on antimicrobials, benefits and harms of antimicrobial prescribing, and why prescribing an antimicrobial may not always be the best option. Information should be provided about what to do if their symptoms worsen or if problems arise as a result of treatment.
If antimicrobial treatment is not the most appropriate option, prescribers should advise patients, and their family and/or carers (if appropriate) about other options (as appropriate), such as self-care with over-the-counter preparations, back-up (delayed) prescribing, or other non-pharmacological interventions. Prescribers, primary care and community pharmacy teams should verbally emphasise and provide written advice about managing self-limiting infections.

Please see further information on our medicine management page