Self-assessment of antimicrobial stewardship in primary care: Self-reported practice using the TARGET primary care self-assessment tool

Rebecca Owens, Leah Ffion Jones*, Michael Moore, Dirk Pilat, Cliodna McNulty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Multifaceted antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) interventions including: antibiotic guidance, reviews of antibiotic use using audits, education, patient facing materials, and self-assessment, are successful in improving antimicrobial use. We aimed to measure the self-reported AMS activity of staff completing a self-assessment tool (SAT). The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)/Public Health England (PHE) SAT enables participants considering an AMS eLearning course to answer 12 short questions about their AMS activities. Questions cover guidance, audit, and reflection about antibiotic use, patient facing materials, and education. Responses are recorded digitally. Data were collated, anonymised, and exported into Microsoft Excel. Between November 2014 and June 2016, 1415 users completed the SAT. Ninety eight percent reported that they used antibiotic guidance for treating common infections and 63% knew this was available to all prescribers. Ninety four percent of GP respondents reported having used delayed prescribing when appropriate, 25% were not using Read codes, and 62% reported undertaking a practice-wide antibiotic audit in the last two years, of which, 77% developed an audit action plan. Twenty nine percent had undertaken other antibiotic-related clinical courses. Fifty six percent reported sharing patient leaflets covering infection. Many prescribers reported undertaking a range of AMS activities. GP practice managers should ensure that all clinicians have access to prescribing guidance. Antibiotic audits should be encouraged to enable GP staff to understand their prescribing behaviour and address gaps in good practice. Prescribers are not making full use of antibiotic prescribing-related training opportunities. Read coding facilitates more accurate auditing and its use by all clinicians should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • General practice
  • Primary care
  • Self-assessment


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