UK antimicrobial resistance strategy and action plan

United Kingdom

UK antimicrobial resistance strategy and action plan


Status: 2002 

The Government’s response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology’s report ‘Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents’ indicated its intention to take forward a comprehensive strategy to tackle the problem of antimicrobial resistance. The key elements of the strategy were outlined and the Government gave a commitment to a tranche of activities to support it.

This document expands on the strategy, its rationale and objectives, and outlines the key actions required. It is a base for the use of individual Departments and organisations in building up their own action plans. It takes into account the recommendations of the Standing Medical Advisory Committee (SMAC), in its report ‘The Path of Least Resistance’ , recommendations from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) former Division of Emerging and Other Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control, the recommendations of the European Conference on ‘The Microbial Threat’ in Copenhagen in September 1998, and the World Health Assembly Resolution of May 1998.

The strategy recognises the need for action across a wide range of interests and by many organisations and individuals. Since microorganisms do not recognise geographical boundaries and are increasingly spread through international travel and commerce, it also recognises the need for the UK to play its part internationally, as well as at local and national levels.

This plan is intended to cover work over the next three years. It will be kept under review, and will evolve with time to take account of achievements, scientific developments and organisational changes. This will be undertaken by the Interdepartmental Steering Group which is overseeing and co-ordinating the work in this field (Annex A), advised by the new Expert Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance which is being set up.

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