Implementation of the national antimicrobial stewardship competencies for UK undergraduate healthcare professional education within undergraduate pharmacy programmes: a survey of UK schools of pharmacy

Ryan A Hamilton, Molly Courtenay, Kevin J Frost, Roger Harrison, Helen Root, David G Allison, Antonella P Tonna, Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Mamoon A Aldeyab, Katherine Shemilt, Sandra J Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Pharmacists play a key role in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). Consensus-based national AMS competencies for undergraduate healthcare professionals in the UK reflect the increasing emphasis on competency-based healthcare professional education. However, the extent to which these are included within undergraduate pharmacy education programmes in the UK is unknown.

OBJECTIVES: To explore which of the AMS competencies are delivered, including when and at which level, within UK undergraduate MPharm programmes.

METHODS: A cross-sectional online questionnaire captured the level of study of the MPharm programme in which each competency was taught, the method of delivery and assessment of AMS education, and examples of student feedback.

RESULTS: Ten institutions completed the survey (33% response rate). No institution reported covering all 54 AMS competencies and 5 of these were taught at half or fewer of the institutions. Key gaps were identified around taking samples, communication, outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy and surgical prophylaxis. The minimum time dedicated to AMS teaching differed between institutions (range 9-119 h), teaching was generally through didactic methods, and assessment was generally through knowledge recall and objective structured clinical examinations. Feedback from students suggests they find AMS and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to be complex yet important topics.

CONCLUSIONS: UK schools of pharmacy should utilize the competency framework to identify gaps in their AMS, AMR and infection teaching. To prepare newly qualified pharmacists to be effective at delivering AMS and prescribing antimicrobials, schools of pharmacy should utilize more simulated environments and clinical placements for education and assessment of AMS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdlad095
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2023

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