Antimicrobial use in UK long-term care facilities: Results of a point prevalence survey

Tracey Thornley*, Diane Ashiru Oredope, Elizabeth Beech, Philip Howard, Charlotte L. Kirkdale, Heather Elliott, Claire Harris, Alex Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: The majority of people in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are aged 65 years and older, and most of their care needs are provided by the LTCF staff. Provision of healthcare services for residents in LTCFs is variable and can result in disjointed care between carers and NHS healthcare professionals. Objectives: Our aim was to understand the use of antibiotics in LTCFs across the UK and to identify potential gaps in knowledge and support for carers and residents when using antibiotics, in order to determine how community pharmacy teams can provide additional support. Methods: A point prevalence survey (PPS) was conducted by community pharmacists (n"57) when they carried out visits to LTCFs across the UK between 13 November and 12 December 2017. Anonymized data were recorded electronically by the individual pharmacists. Results: Data were analysed for 17909 residents in 644 LTCFs across the UK. The mean proportion of residents on antibiotics on the day of the visit was as follows: 6.3% England (536 LTCFs), 7.6% Northern Ireland (35 LTCFs), 8.6% Wales (10 LTCFs) and 9.6% Scotland (63 LTCFs). The percentage of antibiotics prescribed for prophylactic use was 25.3%. Antibiotic-related training was reported as being available for staff in 6.8% of LTCFs and 7.1% of LTCFs reported use of a catheter passport scheme. Pharmacists conducting the PPS intervened during the survey for 9.5% of antibiotic prescription events; 53.4%of interventions were for clinical reasons and 32.2%were for administration reasons. Conclusions: This survey identified high prophylactic use of antibiotics. There are opportunities for community pharmacy teams to improve antimicrobial stewardship in LTCF settings, including workforce education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2083-2090
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    T. T., C. L. K., H. E. and C. H. and A. R. are employees of Boots UK, but do not own any stocks or shares. D. A.-O., E. B. and P. H. received no funding from Boots UK.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.


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