The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference (London)
A dystopian future may be closer than we think, with The Antimicrobial Review 2014 predicting that without decisive action, 10 million people each year will die of untreatable infectious diseases by 2050. Through over prescription of drugs used to treat infectious diseases, new antimicrobial resistant illnesses are becoming a global and national issue. Various initiatives and reports have attempted to address this serious issue that the National Risk Register for Civil Emergencies ranks as highly as terrorism. However, if the threat of a post-antibiotic future, where minor infections and injuries pose serious risks, is to be assuaged much more remains to be done.
Join us for The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference, where expert speakers from government, health care, academia and the private sector will be presenting their views on how to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Topics covered will include how antimicrobial resistance is spread, how ‘superbugs’ could decrease the effectiveness of modern medicine and what action can be taken to combat antimicrobial resistance before it is too late.
Please register interest below and we will keep you updated
|Lee Feddy||Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS|
|Derek Butler||MRSA Action UK|
|Emma Rose||Co-Ordinator, Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics|
|Meg Stone||CEO , Dyteqta Limited|
|Chris Rhodes||Managing Director , Kemper Rhodes|
|Simon Singer||Abbott UK|
|Howard Anthony Foster||Professor of Microbiology, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Salford|
Antimicrobial resistance is a growing pandemic, threatening worldwide prevention and treatment of a range of infections caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. Resistance of this magnitude threatens our ability to treat common infectious diseases on a mass scale. Drug resistance is caused by an overuse of the drugs prescribed to treat infectious diseases. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that practitioners must use the right drug, in the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration if the spread of antibiotic resistance is to be slowed. There are also other factors which contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance. According to a Guardian investigation, Britain’s farming leaders have called for a clampdown on the illegal use of powerful antibiotics in farming, as this has caused the MRSA superbug to enter the UK food chain. In the study 9/100 samples of pork purchased in UK supermarkets were found to have traces of the bug. Additionally, poor hygiene practises have contributed to the spread of superbugs. A US study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that health workers washed their hands in only 42.6% of situations that required it, and this fell to 34.8% in the last hour of a 12 hour shift. Spread across all US hospitals, this would lead to 0.6 million unnecessary infections per year. To promote awareness of this serious issue, the European Antibiotic Awareness Day – established in 2013 – takes place on 18th November every year. This is a European wide public health initiative that aims to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics in both humans and animals.
There has been increased awareness in UK government about the threat that antimicrobial resistance poses to the country. In 2015 this threat was included in the National Risk Register for Civil Emergencies for the first time. The report estimates that if a widespread outbreak were to occur around 200,000 people could be affected by a bacterial blood infection resistant to existing drugs. Of that number, around 80,000 people would die. The threat of antimicrobial resistance is not merely theoretical, however. Between 2010 and 2014, 16 people died in Manchester from a highly resistant infection that proved immune even to antibiotics usually considered the final line of defence against multi-resistant bacteria. Fear about resistant ‘superbugs’ is widespread, a study in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases suggests that if antibiotics were just 30% less effective there would be 120,000 more infections and 6,300 more deaths each year in the US alone. This would make routine surgeries such as caesareans and appendix removal, as well as chemotherapy, a serious risk as patients could not be protected from infection. The UK has already begun to take steps to find a solution to this serious problem.
As a response to this need for action, the UK have followed WHO report advice and implemented various initiatives to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The WHO report outlines various actions that can be taken by individuals, health workers, policymakers and scientists in order to improve global response and tackle the spread of antimicrobial resistant infectious diseases. These include good hygiene, careful prescribing, fostering and rewarding research and development, and coordinating world response. The UK has begun to follow this advice, making antibiotic resistance the focus of the £10 million 2014 Longitude Prize. This prize will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on antibiotic resistance and diagnostic development, health economists, social scientists and those implementing global health programmes. In addition to this, Jim O’neill, chair of The Antimicrobial Review, has called for diagnostic testing to be used before antibiotics are prescribed. O’Neill suggests, however, that healthcare practitioners have been slow to embrace the use of diagnostic testing. He asserts that they prefer, instead, to rely on ‘empirical’ diagnosis in which doctors use their intuition and professional judgment to ‘guess’ the cause of illness. In 2015 the government updated their Smart Then Focus antimicrobial stewardship toolkit as a response to this reluctance. Antimicrobial stewardship aims to promote coordinated intervention to improve and measure appropriate use of antimicrobials, including selection of the proper regime, dose, duration and route of administration. This will help to limit the selection of resistant infection strains. These measures show the fledgling efforts to combat the issue of antimicrobial resistance, however, much more remains to be done.
In 2013 the government published the UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy, which has 3 main strategic aims. The first is to improve knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial resistance, the second is to conserve and steward the effectiveness of existing treatments, and the third is to stimulate the development of new antibiotics, diagnostic and novel therapies. This strategy aims to confirm the UK’s leading role in stimulating national and international action on the issue of antimicrobial resistance. In response to this, The Antimicrobial Review due to be published in 2016 will recommend subsidies for current diagnostic tests, funding for new tests as part of the $2 billion ‘blue-sky’ research into new antibiotics and will build a long term economic case for rapid diagnosis. Technology is already being developed to cope with antimicrobial resistance. The Maidstone and Turnbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has installed a UVO automated disinfection system. This uses ultraviolet light radiation to kill or sterilise micro-organisms such as bacteria by disrupting their DNA. MTW Director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr Sarah Mumford says of the technology, “We can do a deep clean to a standard we could never do before.” Since installing the UVO disinfection system the hospital has had only one case of ‘superbug’ MRSA. In spite of these advancements, however, the future still looks bleak when it comes to dealing with ‘superbugs’.
The 2015 King’s Fund suggested that due to significant cuts, NHS patient care is at the risk of deteriorating, treatment targets are not being met and the NHS is heading for a £2 billion deficit. Financial pressures have led to hospital bed occupancy being dangerously high, with the average being well above the recommended 85%, averaging closer to 90% and sometimes exceeding 100%. Such high occupancy means that staff members do not have time to clean beds properly, putting patients at risk of infection. James palmer, NHS Clinical Director for Specialised Services, warns that the funding cuts have led to the NHS prioritising out of hospital care, meaning that funding for new specialised drugs is “not going to happen”. With antimicrobial resistant infections sweeping UK hospitals, these issues could hinder the containment and treatment of resistant infections, leading to a fatal epidemic.
Delegates attending The Future of Infection Prevention and Control Conference will learn about the arguments around the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, the potential effects ‘superbugs’ on our ability to treat common illnesses, and how the government and the health sector can work to ensure that antimicrobial resistance does not become the global crisis it is threatening to become.
Registration, Refreshments and Exhibition
Opening Remarks from Chair
Lee Feddy. Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS
Derek Butler. Chairman, MRSA Action UK.
Future of Infection Control - “Hearts and Minds”
Refreshments & Networking Break
Simon L. Singer, Regional Medical Executive, Abbott Laboratories
Chris Rhodes, Managing Director, Rhoco ES Ltd
Lunch and Networking
Meg Stone. Managing Director, Dyteqta, Ltd.
Meg Stone is the CEO/Managing Director of Dyteqta Limited. She has more than 17 years' experience of management in a variety of sectors, having held senior roles within international public corporations (including blue chips in the education management industry, a large high street retail chain, and the oldest security company in the world).
‘Pathogens in Drainage, a culprit for HCAIs?’
Howard Anthony Foster, Professor of Microbiology, Biomedical Research Centre, University of Salford
Closing Remarks from Chair
Lee Feddy. Consultant Anaesthetist, NHS
Close of Conference
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- Innovations in superbug solutions
- Impact of funding cuts on controlling infection
- The threat of antimicrobial resistance
- Action in response to the WHO report
- The role of food in antimicrobial resistance
- The role of hygiene in antimicrobial resistance
- The threat posed by superbugs
- Potential effects of superbugs on modern medicine
- The role of altered diagnostic testing
- Technology’s role in preventing superbugs
Who should attend?
Delegates attending this Conference will include clinical directors, medical directors, directors of infection prevention and control, HCAI managers, GPs, infection control advisors, specialist nurses, estate and facilities managers, heads of innovation, leads in acute care and heads of patient safety; and will be drawn from central and local government, the NHS, care home providers, emergency services, private hospitals, academia, the private sector and civil society.