24 June 2022

The antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) team at Royal Papworth Hospital has been announced as a finalist in the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards 2022.

The project, 'Introduction of Multidisciplinary Antimicrobial Stewardship Ward Rounds for our Cardiothoracic Patients', has been shortlisted in the 'Patient Safety Pilot Project of the Year' category.

The AMS team has been working closely with the surgical department, in collaboration with the service and cost improvement team, to introduce twice weekly, multi-disciplinary ward rounds to review all post-surgery patients who are on antibiotics.

These ward rounds help to ensure that appropriate microbiology samples are sent off for patients started on antibiotics and that they are reviewed in a timely manner. 

Patients with infections are then treated with the right antibiotic, at the right dose and frequency for the right amount of time, improving patient safety. 

Overuse and incorrect use of antibiotics contributes to antimicrobial resistance, when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medication, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread and death.

Nine people standing indoors.

The AMS ward rounds are a collaboration between pharmacists, microbiologists, surgeons, advanced nurse practitioners and service improvement.

Surgeons and advanced nurse practitioners have also benefited from bite-sized on-the-job antimicrobial training from the AMS team in another plus for patient safety. 

Mr David Jenkins, Consultant Surgeon and Divisional Director for Surgery, Transplant and Anaesthetics, said: "These ward rounds have reassured me that appropriate antibiotic prescribing has been made for my patients as the less experienced doctors have been given the confidence to not over prescribe, and have benefited from direct tuition from the microbiologists in the ward setting."

Clinical Fellow Mr Rasoel Khushiwal added: "We always look forward to seeing the AMS team and discussing the patients we are worried about from an infection perspective – they are very helpful and we always come away with a plan of action.” 

Jocel Sacramento, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, is also part of the collaborative team working on the project.

"I personally find micro-rounds very beneficial in terms of patient management and the sessions are enjoyable and interactive. It has helped me gain confidence to challenge and raise questions in regards to antibiotics prescribing on ward rounds."

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards recognise and reward the hard-working teams and individuals who are striving to deliver improved patient care.

The AMS team is one of nine finalists in their category. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Manchester on 15 September 2022.