“Urinary tract infections are common in older people and reducing their prevalence is a crucial part of our battle against antimicrobial resistance,” explains Louisa. “UTI’s are the second biggest user of antibiotics and we know that across healthcare we significantly over-diagnose them. If we can cut down on prescribing by preventing them in the first place, then diagnosing correctly, it will help to slow the growing tide of resistance to commonly used antibiotics. This campaign mirrors the work by Neil Powell, Antimicrobial Pharmacist at RCHT, to ensure UTI diagnosis is symptom-led rather than by using urine dipsticks.”
The ‘Leaking the news’ roadshows have focussed on the prevention of UTIs, hydration and the safe management of catheters, which are frequently associated with causing infection. The consistent approach to care is already leading to a reduction in infections and antibiotic use.
The Antibiotic Guardian awards celebrate the work of healthcare professionals across England in tackling antimicrobial resistance and form part of the ongoing campaign which is led by Public Health England.
For Louisa the Award was the icing on the cake having recently had her work published, secured additional funding to keep the programme running and having been a finalist in the national Nursing Times Awards late last year.
“I’m really proud and it’s so rewarding to have all the passion and perseverance recognised. I couldn’t have achieved so much without the support I’ve received from colleagues, Neil Powell, Louise Dickinson, Andrew Collinson, Lisa Johnson, Iain Davidson, Louise Silver and from Chief Nurse, Kim O’Keeffe who helped to push the case for funding.”
The UTI themed workshops will continue however in September Louisa will present a new Road Show aiming to improve the prevention and management of chest infections and flu called “Get it off your Chest!” Health professionals interested in attending any of these events should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see the Facebook group ‘Bug and Drug Project’.