UK pharmacists have strong presence at international infectious disease conference 

This article was also written by Diane Ashiru-Oredope on behalf of UK AMS Pharmacists (Stephen Hughes, Aneeka Chavda, Prof Philip Howard OBE, Dr Ryan Hamilton, Bee Yean Ng, Syed Anas Gilani, Navjeet Nagi, Priti Kukadia, Shahzad Razaq, Dr Abi Jenkins, Nirlep Agravedi, Matt Christie, Kirstin Man, Alice Liu, Natalie Hollins, Verónica Chorro-Mari, Jamie Cheong, Joanne Munns, Adel Sheikh, Cassandra Watson, Neha Voralia, Shay Khan, Frances Garraghan and Sabina Bashir)

In April 2024 more than 30 UK Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) pharmacists attended the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) global conference (formerly known as ECCMID) in Barcelona. Leaders and practitioners in infectious diseases, infection prevention and AMS gathered for the four-day event and there was strong representation and activity from UK based AMS pharmacists. 

The UK pharmacist delegation work in the field of antimicrobial stewardship and infectious diseases and highlighted the various roles that pharmacists hold in AMS including NHS consultant pharmacists, core NHS pharmacists, advanced clinical practitioners, NHSE, UKHSA, industry and academia. 

The group contributed 21 academic posters to the conference, three of which (Stephen Hughes from Chelsea and Westminster NHSFT, Abi Jenkins from University Hospitals Birmingham NHSFT and Professor Diane Ashiru-Oredope from UKHSA) were selected for a 10-minute oral presentation. 

UK pharmacists not only inspired each other with their ongoing innovative work, but also other delegates at the conference

Professor Mark Gilchrist gave a presentation to debunk the myths around penicillin allergy on behalf of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Expert Advisory Group on AMR, highlighting the impact of specialists in the field using the media to raise awareness. Professor Joe Standing presented results from the PANORAMIC study which reviewed molnupiravir against COVID-19.

The conference provided a unique opportunity to network with colleagues who are part of a growing AMS pharmacists UK-based network, as well as pharmacist colleagues across the globe, including from USA, South Africa, Australia and Switzerland. The ESCMID Global conference enabled colleagues to meet in person for the first time despite years of digital contact and collaborative working. 

A poster presented by Diane Ashiru-Oredope, was in collaboration with pharmacist colleagues in Uganda and Canada, reporting the perceptions of 25 pharmacists from across eight countries that attended ECCMID 2023. The highlighted reasons respondents provided, on why they would recommend the ECCMID conference to other pharmacists were: Inter-professional collaborations and exposure, learning best practices in AMS, learning new initiatives and innovations in AMS, global health, and AMS practices in LMICs and networking opportunities. The need to facilitate attendance by early career specialist pharmacists was also highlighted. 

Antimicrobial stewardship will be the cornerstone of ensuring the continuity of modern medicine under the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Despite a challenging time to work in this field, these UK pharmacists not only inspired each other with their ongoing innovative work, but also other delegates at the conference, and colleagues in the UK who were unable to make the conference in person. 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the UKCPA or its members. We encourage readers to follow links and references to primary research papers and guidance.

Competing interest statement: 

The author declares: no support from any organisation for the submitted work; no financial relationships with any organisations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.


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