Position Statements

IPS response to AMR 5 Year Plan and 20 Year Vision

The Infection Prevention Society welcomes the 20-year vision for antimicrobial resistance and the UK’s Five-year national action plan (2019-24) for tackling antimicrobial resistance published by the UK Government on 24 January 2019. These strategic plans build on the impressive achievements driven since 2013 in reducing antimicrobial use in animals by 40% and in humans by more than 7%. 

We are pleased to see that tackling infection prevention continues to be recognised as essential to AMR reduction and that the strategic plans are committed to a strong focus on infection prevention and control (IPC).  They also recognise the ‘challenges of equipping professionals for effective IPC across the large disparate system and in four UK countries’.  As the national professional organisation representing expert practitioners in IPC across the UK, the IPS is in a unique position to influence and drive this agenda. 

The 20-year vision predicts that the use of antimicrobial agents will increase by 30% over the next 20 years. Since the exposure of micro-organisms to antimicrobial agents is a key driver of resistance, not just inappropriate use, the IPS mission that ‘no-one is harmed by a preventable infection’ is fundamental to tackling the problem of antimicrobial resistance.  This means focusing on strategies that prevent any healthcare associated infection occurring in the first place not just preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. 

IPC is more than hand hygiene. Our specialist practitioners are able promote the application of evidence-based practice to prevent all types of healthcare associated infections across health and social care settings.  We have contributed to the development of evidence-based guidelines for infection prevention, commissioned research that aims to understand and address IPC the problems e.g. CCaMA, DOIPS, WINCL, and created resources that focus on the prevention of infection e.g. guidance at a glance, Hydration posters. 

We are pleased that the Government recognises the importance of improving professional capacity and capability for IPC in order to support ‘strategies that are most likely to result in behaviour change’ at the front line.  Our recently revised competencies for IPC practitioners and plans for credentialing are critical to achieving this aim.  We look forward to working collaboratively to assess the workforce needs, and support the system-wide changes in practice and behaviour that are required to prevent more infections and meet the ambitious targets set by the 5-year plan.

The new 5 year plan and 20 year vision can be found here