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    WHO AWaRe classification for antibiotic stewardship: tackling antimicrobial resistance – a descriptive study from an English NHS Foundation Trust prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (2023) Elshenawy, Rasha Abdelsalam; Umaru, Nkiruka; Aslanpour, Zoe
    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a silent and rapidly escalating pandemic, presenting a critical challenge to global health security. During the pandemic, this study was undertaken at a NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom to explore antibiotic prescribing trends for respiratory tract infections (RTIs), including pneumonia, and the COVID-19 pandemic across the years 2019 and 2020. This study, guided by the WHO’s AWaRe classification, sought to understand the impact of the pandemic on antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). The research methodology involved a retrospective review of medical records from adults aged 25 and older admitted with RTIs, including pneumonia, in 2019 and 2020. The application of the AWaRe classification enabled a structured description of antibiotic use. The study evaluated antibiotic use in 640 patients with RTIs. Notably, it observed a slight increase in the use of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and a substantial rise in azithromycin prescriptions, highlighting shifts in prescribing trends. Despite these changes, some antibiotics displayed steady consumption rates. These findings highlight the importance of understanding antibiotic use patterns during the AMR threat. The increase in the usage of “Watch” category antibiotics during the pandemic emphasises the urgency of robust AMS measures. The research confirms that incorporating the AWaRe classification in prescribing decisions is crucial for patient safety and combating antibiotic misuse. This study provides essential insights into the changing landscape of antibiotic prescribing during a global health crisis, reinforcing the necessity for ongoing AMS vigilance to effectively address AMR challenges.
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    Interprofessional Collaboration and Team Effectiveness of Pharmacists in General Practice: A Cross-National Survey.
    (2023) Sudeshika, Thilini; Naunton, Mark; Peterson, Gregory M.; Deeks, Louise S.; Guénette, Line; Sharma, Ravi; Freeman, Christopher; Niyonsenga, Theo; Kosari, Sam
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    Transition to adult services: the current and potential role of the UK hospital pharmacist
    (2023) Adodra, Annika; Trivedi, Ashifa; Mohamad, Sarah; Sharma, Sadhna; Ganapathi, Jaikumar; Goddings, Anne-Lise
    Purpose: To explore the current and potential role for UK pharmacists in the transition to adult services for young people with chronic health problems. Methods: UK hospital pharmacists were surveyed using an online questionnaire with closed and open questions covering their involvement in a transition programme, demography and scope of work, experiences of transition, and the barriers encountered in providing an effective transition service. Results: Overall, 74 pharmacists completed the questionnaire. Most were female (70% (52/74)), had ≥6 years of experience (62% (46/74)), were paediatric pharmacists (74% (55/74)), and were based in a teaching hospital practice setting (70% (52/74)). Many participants (57% (42/74)) had a transition programme in place in their hospital; of these, 55% (23/42) were not a part of the service. Respondents identified unique skills that pharmacists could contribute to the transition service, including knowledge of medications (including formulations and unlicensed medications), awareness of medication services beyond paediatrics, commissioning of medications, and familiarity with adult services. Most commonly identified barriers to transition included 'time constraints', 'pharmacists not involved as part of the wider multidisciplinary team', and 'lack of engagement between different services'. Pharmacists noted that their ideal transition service would include specific medication-related transition, for example, adherence, counselling, and supply of medications. Conclusions: These findings support the role of hospital pharmacists as crucial members of the multidisciplinary team required for transition. The skills and knowledge of the hospital pharmacist is under-utilised within the transition service, yet pharmacists are motivated and uniquely skilled healthcare professionals who have the potential to improve medicines transition.