Widespread inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in UK hospitals has led to the introduction of specialist antibiotic pharmacists. Their role is to monitor antibiotic use, advise clinicians, educate all grades of healthcare workers and help to develop policy. Antibiotic pharmacists have been shown to be effective in many situations. As these practitioners become more accomplished it will be possible to expand their role to include direct intervention in patient treatment. Simple measures, such as modification of intravenous treatment to oral and automatic stop orders, could greatly enhance patient care.