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Managing common infections summary

We've worked with Public Health England (PHE) to bring together our information on managing infections. New NICE guidance will be added as it's published. We'll also show where new guidance is in development.

Each organisation uses different processes to develop their guidance:

This is the first time both sets of national guidance have been brought together. Please email us at if you have any feedback, This could help us improve future versions.

View the summary

From 01 June 2023, the summary will be temporarily hosted on the Antibiotic and diagnostic quick reference tools page of the Royal College of General Practitioners eLearning website.

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Why is our guidance and advice needed?

The World Health Organization says 'antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective'.

Resistance to antimicrobials is complex and increasing. There is a growing risk that infections may not be treatable in the future, combined with a lack of new antimicrobial medicines.

The Department of Health and Social Care asked us to develop guidelines to help slow antimicrobial resistance. These guidelines are evidence-based and clinical syndrome specific.

Health matters: antimicrobial resistance explains more about the importance of antimicrobial resistance.

When we as health professionals are discussing treatments for common infections with patients, it is important to talk about the benefits and harms of prescribing antibiotics. This includes the risks of antimicrobial resistance and the threat this poses to public health.Tessa Lewis, GP and Chair of the managing common infections advisory committee

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Putting guidance into practice

Shared learning

Examples of how our guidance and standards have been put into practice in the NHS, local authorities, voluntary sector and a range of other organisations.

Showing 3 of 15 shared learning examples for this topic:

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When should we prescribe antibiotics?

In this podcast:

  • We chat to Dr Tessa Lewis, Chair of the NICE antimicrobial prescribing guidance committee. We also talk to John Morris, a lay expert.
  • Diana Ashiru-Oredope from Public Health England explains why antimicrobial resistance is so important and how pharmacists can help.