Background European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is a European-wide public health initiative encouraging the responsible use of antibiotics among healthcare professionals and the general public.1 The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) works with hospital-based antimicrobial pharmacists to deliver activities supporting EAAD across hospital and community, including engagement of patients and the public about the appropriate use of antibiotics. From 2014 onwards, EAAD materials have included a community pharmacy version of a self-help guide published by the Royal College of General Practitioners.2
Purpose This research aimed to explore the views and experiences of community pharmacy teams across Scotland in using this self-help guide.
Material and methods Qualitative, semi-structured in-depth telephone and face-to-face interviews were undertaken with a purposive sample of community pharmacy team members, including pharmacists and dispensers. An interview schedule was developed, validated and piloted. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed thematically using the Framework Approach.
Results Twenty-eight pharmacists consented to participate and 27 were interviewed. Nineteen were pharmacist employees working mainly in a large chain across five regions, 14 had been practising for up to 5 years. Most interviewees thought that the pharmacy was an ideal place to engage patients in an antimicrobial stewardship initiative with a need for a multi-pronged approach. Although the tool was perceived to be useful, few (10) were aware it existed or had any experience in using it. A lack of training around antimicrobial stewardship was also identified.
Conclusion It is recommended that EAAD materials need to be more effectively disseminated and pharmacists require more opportunities for specialised training on antimicrobial stewardship. Since this study was undertaken EAAD has featured as the Community Pharmacy Public Health Campaign, with posters and leaflets available in all pharmacies. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship strategy launched in 2017 will also provide further support for the role of all pharmacists in tackling antimicrobial resistance through increasing patient awareness.3
References and/or Acknowledgements 1. Department of Health. UK Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013 to 2018. London: HM Government, 2013.
2. Royal College of General Practitioners, Treating your infection leaflet. Available at http://www.rcgp.org. uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/link.aspx?_id=9FCF9DA4B4A045519593320478DFD9E7&_z=z (accessed 07/06/2016
3. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship, 2017https://www.rpharms.com/making-a-difference/projects-and-campaigns/antimicrobial-resistance-stewardship
No conflict of interest
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