A study has found that half of residents in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in the UK were prescribed at least one antibiotic over a 12-month period.
The research, which was led by Boots and analysed data for 341,536 residents in LTCFs across the four home nations, revealed 544,796 antibiotic prescriptions were dispensed for over 167,000 residents.
“The proportion of residents prescribed at least one antibiotic over the 12-month period varied by LTCF, by month and by country,” said the study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
Researchers concluded pharmacy teams were “well placed to support prudent antibiotic prescribing and improved antimicrobial stewardship” among LTCF residents.
“While nurses and carers provide the majority of long-term care for older people within care homes, pharmacists across the UK support residents within these settings by dispensing and supplying medicines, as well as providing advice and support to carers on medicines use, storage and waste,” said Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK.
“As pharmacists, we’re all working to promote integration across healthcare disciplines and sectors to promote more efficient and effective care within the NHS.
“The NHS long-term plan recognises that many people living in care homes are not having their needs assessed and addressed as well as they could be.
“This research highlights that there is a real opportunity for community pharmacy to play an even greater role in supporting the safe and effective use of medicines and continue to support the implementation and delivery of the government’s five-year action plan on antimicrobial resistance.”
Data was collected between November 2016 and October 2017. The researchers were from Boots UK, Public Health England and NHS Improvement.
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