Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will be a central element of the forthcoming NHS 10-year plan, public health and primary care minister Steve Brine told MPs at a House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee hearing on 11 September 2018.
Brine, who was giving evidence to the committee’s AMR inquiry, said that the NHS plan “refresh” will contain a 20-year UK vision for AMR, together with 5-year UK national action plans, and will set out the role of the different sectors in supporting delivery of the vision.
“The strategy will set out the case to go further on AMR and identify the specific actions and interventions that are needed to meet the objectives we will have,” said Brine.
“Our ability to go further, and the pace at which we are able to do that, will depend on the extent to which we are able to secure the appropriate resources through the anticipated spending review — those conversations are ongoing.”
He added that he was working closely with Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England; and NHS England, which is responsible for producing the 10-year plan; along with Matt Hancock, the new secretary of state for health and social care.
“[Hancock] has talked about his three priorities, one is music to my ears — prevention,” Brine said.
“We see the AMR strategy sitting very much in the prevention workstream — for example, I am responsible for the flu vaccination programme working with [Public Health England]; if we can do better on that, and on the ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ campaign, then people won’t contract flu, and other viruses which then might need antimicrobials.”
Brine said that his “three pillars” for AMR were prevention, ensuring funding in primary care to help tackle prescribing at the “front end” and research “to make sure we’re working from the most important data” to understand the impact of AMR on the environment and, consequently, where to target surveillance.