This guideline covers making people aware of how to correctly use antimicrobial medicines (including antibiotics) and the dangers associated with their overuse and misuse. It also includes measures to prevent and control infection that can stop people needing antimicrobials or spreading infection to others. It aims to change people’s behaviour to reduce antimicrobial resistance and the spread of resistant microbes.

NICE has also produced a guideline on antimicrobial stewardship: systems and processes for effective antimicrobial medicine use.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Local authority public health teams
  • Commissioners, including clinical commissioning groups, and providers
  • Childcare and education providers
  • Prescribers, primary care and community pharmacy teams
  • The general public

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

NICE worked with Public Health England to develop this guidance.

Next review: 2021

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • Public Health England
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)