Information for the public

What should organisations do?

What should organisations do?

NICE has said that organisations responsible for health and care services should monitor and review how antimicrobials are being used in all settings, including:

  • hospitals

  • GP practices

  • out‑of‑hours services

  • dental practices.

They can do this by selecting key members of staff to monitor antimicrobial prescribing and antimicrobial resistance. These staff may make up a team called the 'antimicrobial stewardship team'.

The staff should review information on what antimicrobials are being prescribed and how often. They should also review information about when antimicrobials are unlikely to work for infections (antimicrobial resistance). They should feed this back to health professionals who prescribe antimicrobials and work with them to look into reasons why in some cases antimicrobials are prescribed more or less often than would be expected. Health professionals who prescribe antimicrobials should know how important it is to use antimicrobials safely and wisely and should have up‑to‑date information on how to do this.

NICE has said that organisations should:

  • use information on prescribing of antimicrobials and information about infections for which antimicrobials have stopped working (antimicrobial resistance) to develop advice (local guidelines) about treating infections in the local area

  • make sure that everyone prescribing antimicrobials knows about these guidelines and when anything changes in them.

Organisations should have arrangements for making sure that people who prescribe antimicrobials know about:

  • antimicrobial resistance in their local area

  • use of antimicrobials:

    • in people admitted to hospital with serious infections

    • in people with severe allergic reactions

    • in people with infections caused by bacteria known as Clostridium difficile.

Question to ask about organisations

  • Who are organisations and what do they do?

  • How are the organisations in my area making sure they use antimicrobials safely and wisely?


NICE has said that organisations responsible for health and care services should encourage openness about how antimicrobials are used. Organisations should also question prescribing of antimicrobials when prescribers write prescriptions that don't follow guidelines and don't give a reason for this. Organisations should encourage and support health professionals only to prescribe antimicrobials when they are really needed to treat an infection.

They should encourage health and social care staff to:

  • share what they know about using antimicrobials safely and wisely

  • make sure that patients know that a referral to another service won't necessarily mean they will be prescribed an antimicrobial.

  • Information Standard