Objectives: To evaluate the development of pharmacist-led antimicrobial stewardship activities in English hospitals.
Methods: Distribution of an electronic questionnaire to antimicrobial pharmacists or chief pharmacists in National Health Service hospitals in England.
Results: Since a previous study, in 2005, overall numbers of specialist antimicrobial pharmacists, and their levels of experience, had increased. Over 95% of hospitals provided empirical usage guidance, antimicrobial formularies and surgical prophylaxis guidelines. Two-thirds of pharmacy departments provided antimicrobial usage reports in terms of defined daily doses at least yearly, and over 80% conducted yearly antimicrobial point prevalence studies. The vast majority of pharmacy departments indicated a willingness to supply data and audit results to a national database for benchmarking purposes.
Conclusions: The increasing role of specialist pharmacists and general pharmacists in antibiotic stewardship in acute care in England has enabled hospitals to deliver on the antibiotic stewardship agenda, although opportunity remains to expand this role further and ensure greater multidisciplinary engagement.
Keywords: antibiotic policy; pharmacy; prescribing.